Code for Cape Town (Code4CT) is a programme that introduces young girls to basic web building skills and exposes them to opportunities in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector. Participants are trained in web development, design principles, as well as courses in professional development. Code4CT aims to inspire a generation of young girls who are well-prepared with a toolkit of technical and soft skills in order to achieve high impact in the workplace.
These are skills that everyone should have. Even if you have no intention of becoming a professional coder, you will benefit from knowing how to think in this way in this increasingly computerized economy. A growing number of permanent job positions that use information technology to deliver a product or a service are becoming available in the local economy. It is estimated that nearly 75000 such jobs will come online in South Africa within the next five years. These digital jobs will mostly be driven by the ICT, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), and the financial services industries. These are the fastest growing sectors in our economy. They are also the sectors that have the highest demand for entry-level digital skills.
Code4CT is broadening perspectives about career opportunities for many girls and is showing them that the ICT sector offers exciting career paths with the opportunity for social impact. Through using coding and web building skills, participants are exposed to how IT skills can be applied to solve problems, and they are encouraged to use their knowledge to tackle a real local challenge.
The applications of this computational approach to problem-solving stretch beyond building beautiful functional websites. It combines mathematics, logic and algorithms, and teaches you a new way to think about the world. In September last year (2014) the UK introduced coding into their primary school curriculum. The Code4CT curriculum achieves a successful balance between skills acquisition and a fun learning environment. Participants acquire these essentials skills in a fun, creative and encouraging spacet. Once you know how to code, you can create virtual worlds within the computer where the only limit on what is possible is your imagination. We wants to put this power into the hands and hearts of every girl, because soon not knowing the language of computers will be as challenging as being illiterate & innumerate are today.
Code for Cape Town strives to see young women empowered to leverage technology for social innovation, so that there is greater diversity in the African tech industry. Code for Cape Town equips high potential female learners with the coding, problem solving and life skills that will allow them to leverage technology to contribute meaningfully to South Africa’s innovation system.
We teach coding
Grade 10 learners are introduced to web development and work on a real life coding project during a two week holiday program. During this time they are exposed to numerous innovative tech companies and aspirational female mentors. Following this introduction, learners gain a solid grounding in front-end web development over 6 months of weekly lessons. The course builds towards learners being able to create a data-driven web app and focuses on collaborative skills.
With a foundational knowledge of front-end web development, Grade 11 learners are afforded the opportunity to explore niche areas of the tech industry by pursuing specialisations such as front end web design, backend web development, data analysis & visualisation, and game development.
Through doing so learners are equipped with programming fundamentals and industry relevant coding skills. We aim to develop autodidactic learners who are able to further their own knowledge through independent learning.
We foster innovativeness
Throughout the program our young coders work in groups to solve real-life problems. They are exposed to an enabling professional network of tech companies, tutors, mentors and likeminded peers.
Through doing so, they foster the ability to communicate effectively, collaborate and apply critical thinking to solve complex problems. Learners perceive that they are capable of leveraging technology to create valuable solutions, and see technology as a powerful tool to create social change.
We prepare learners for a 21st century environment
Our coders are required to work in a collaborative, self-directed manner; taking responsibility for their own learning, working in culturally diverse groups, and responding efficiently to change.
Through self reflection and small group mentoring, learners are guided in developing critical life and career skills. Our framework focuses on the following life skills: Flexibility & Adaptability, Initiative and Self Direction, Social and Cross Cultural Skills, Productivity & Accountability, Leadership & Responsibility.
Through encouraging learners to embrace reflective practices, we aim to help our young coders become resilient young people who are able to thrive in a 21st century work environment.
Why do we exist?
Code4CT exists to see young South African women in positions to drive African innovation
Definition of Victory: What does success look like?
- Young women will discover how they can leverage technology for social innovation. They will develop the skills that will allow them to contribute meaningfully to SA’s innovation system. They will be challenged to direct their own learning and reach their full potential.
- Code4CT students will shape a new face of technology in South Africa, the continent and the world.
- Code4CT will significantly improve the calibre of skills entering the workforce.
- Alumnae of our program will be known for their innovativeness, social responsibility, excellence, passion, tenacity, creativity, enthusiasm, camaraderie and professionalism.
- Employers, tertiary education institutions and bursars will actively seek Code4CT alumnae into their organisations and companies.
Values: How must we act to ensure success?
The following values guide the way in which Code for Cape Town operates:
- Our first responsibility is to ensure every learner in our program feels challenged and supported in her learning; that each learner realises her potential to manifest change.
- To do that, we are committed to a culture of innovation and excellence. We value collaboration and openness.
- We believe in the strength of the collective: one person’s success is everyone’s joy; one person’s failure requires everyone’s support.
- We value holistic wellness with the understanding that if each individual seeks mental and physical well-being this results in the optimal functioning of the collective.
- We believe each learner has the potential to be responsible and respectful. We will not tolerate a failure to accept responsibility nor a lack of respect for others.
- We are committed to an equitable society and creating a racially and culturally diverse learning environment. We will work to dismantle euro-centric education and structural inequities within our society.