Our goal at Code for Cape Town is to empower young people to imagine and create new technology that is relevant to a South African context.

Alongside coding skills, we teach design thinking which is a process that allows one to explore user-centred solutions to complex problems.

Our Grade 11 learners have been going through a process of designing a solution to a social issue that is important to them. In an initial workshop, we reflected on what legacy each of them want to leave and identified broad challenges to work on.




Havas Boondoggle, experts in service design thinking, invited us into their offices and lead us in a two-day design thinking workshop. Design thinking is a user-centred process that starts by gaining empathy for the user.  The Boondoggle team lead us in the process of creating personas to describe the users for whom we wanted to create solutions.




Having created personas, we went on through a process of understanding the users’ needs which culminated in user-centred solutions. These solutions ranged from reducing queues at public clinics to exposing teacher absenteeism.


Design an App ideas


Code for Cape Town participants come from diverse backgrounds and bring their unique perspectives together to be able to create innovative solutions to some of the most pressing issues faced in South Africa.




Learners went on to design a minimal viable product to build and test. A minimal viable product is the most basic version of an idea that solves the problem. We created paper prototypes of key user flows by sketching up the different screens a user would encounter in the apps.


The workshop culminated with groups pitching their solutions.




Having designed a solution, the groups go on to spend their school holidays developing the solution under the supervision of a code coach at a web development agency.  We look forward to developing the ideas further. Development agencies who wish to host a group of learners can find out more information here.