In October 2012 Coders4Africa (C4A) launched its signature Practical Project Based Training in Senegal. 20 software developers were selected from the community. We are halfway through the training in Senegal which will be completed by January 15th 2013. In Dakar, the trainees started off with learning how to manage projects using the Agile method (Scrum and XP).
Currently they are in the implementation stage and focus on projects’ requirements with their respective stakeholders. The 20 coders are divided in 5 teams with following projects:
- Description: Farmers and Cattle herding management system
- Client: Amadou Sow (Secretary of the Union of farmers of Fatick, Senegal)
- Team composition: Sokhna Sagna, Sada Kalidou Sow, Mansour Fall, Amdane Samb and Ibrahim Khalil
- Description: Management of Pharmacies and health facilities in Senegal
- Client: Senegalese Association of Pharmacies
- Team Composition: Fatoumata Traore Sall, Togbe M. M. Lucrece, Omar Sokhna, Prince P. Tsaty
- Description: A pan-african health system with a repository of infrastructure and health facilities., statistics and country comparison will be available.
- Client: Peter Speyer Director of Data Development Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington
- Team composition: Pape Samba Diop, Jacob Sawodogo, Yazid Abdou Wabi and Ousmane Samba
- Description: School management system to monitor and manager public and private schools in Senegal
- Client: Etablissement scolaire Samibou, Yoff Dakar, Senegal
- Team composition: Andalla Mbengue, Saikou Fall, Herilovasoa Rakotoarison and Abdoul Aziz Wade
- Description: Data collection and transmitting solutions using mobile devices Tablets and smartphones with Android OS
- Client: IDEV Consulting, Dakar Senegal www.idev-ic.coml
- Team composition: Momar Kouta, Talla Diop, Bocar Sy, Houefa Awohouedji and Leger Djiba
C4A recently formed a partnership with the World Wide Web Foundation www.webfoundation.org to strengthen its Practical Project Based Training. Web Foundation instructors will focus on User Experience Design (UX) and on Entrepreneurship courses while Coders4Africa will focus on the hardcore software development principles. This endeavour was undertaken in Senegal recently and will be followed up in Accra, Ghana.
We are now gearing up for our next training session this time in Ghana, schedule to start in February 2013. This time around the partnership with the Web Foundation will be much more significant that the training in Senegal which they joined late.
Unlike traditional software training practices which focus just on specific technologies and development patterns, ours keeps the African context in mind with an approach that treats every trainee as a potential employee and/or entrepreneur. The coders will be taught solid Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) principles, practices and processes as well as how to understand/translate technical writings in order to effectively communicate with other developers, engineers and most importantly clients. Simply put, trainees work on real projects while receiving the fundamental training.
C4A will be selecting 20 lucky candidates to undergo this FREE training. By the end of their experience they will be certified and trained, having completed unique, real life projects in different sectors: agriculture, health care, business, education and social needs. These apps, delivered at the completion, will be ready to use by their respective clients. As matter of fact stakeholders will be involved in every step of the training program, following an Agile SCRUM methodology. Trainees will approach stakeholders for requirements (User Stories), acceptance criteria and will keep them updated throughout the process.
The C4A training will be carried out for 3 months in Accra, Ghana at the Mobile Web Ghana facility. Each class will be divided into 2 sessions: lectures and labs. During lab sessions trainees will be organized in 5 groups of 4 where they will be building a tool that satisfies clients requirements. This is the jist of C4A’s practical project based program. Lecture sessions are reserved for material discussion, learning and tests. Instructors will alternate depending on the chapter or topic of that week. They will be mostly required to follow C4A curriculum.
Projects worked on during the training are owned by real clients. The instructors will meet each client prior to the beginning of the training. They will explain the program to clients, get their buy in and establish a memorandum of understanding between their organization and Coders4Africa. The general understanding will be to participate in the program by submitting a project they would like the trainees to work on. At the end of the program and upon delivery of a product the client will have the choice of possibly hiring the trainee(s) as employees or contractors to maintain or extend the product they built. Coders4Africa will negotiate some of the terms of the contract on behalf of the trainees. Another option is for trainees to start their own company based on the product that they built and market it to other clients (based on factors they agree with the original stakeholder). Let’s put those negotiations skills to use :)
A link for developers in Ghana to register will be posted soon. With the success of this initiative, C4A hopes to inspire others to give back to their respective communities. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. We are inventing a community of innovators that will help Africans conquer the last digital frontier.