Software development academy readies to open its doors
Jessica Hawkey, founder and MD of redAcademy.
The Cape Town-based redAcademy will welcome tomorrow its first intake of enrolled students, or “sprinters,” as they are called, says MD Jessica Hawkey.
The academy offers a one-year rapid training program, with the goal of starting the graduate career in the software development industry.
In an interview with ITWeb, Hawkey explains that redAcademy aims to change the way software is taught and experienced by exchanging the three-year theoretical knowledge learning experience with one-year hands-on experience in a professional setting.
“There are opportunities to study a lot of things,” he notes. “Many of them take a long time … and when you’re done, you still have to gain work experience.
“If you take into account the unemployment statistics, there are a large number of graduates who cannot enter the world of work. For our part, we believe that redAcademy is the most effective path from the matrix to a software career. ”
Hawkey reveals that redAcademy was an incubator idea of redPanda Software, which specializes in enterprise retail software, a few years ago, realizing the extreme need for software developers in the industry.
The location, he says, offers the academy the opportunity to leverage the resources of their host company, so candidates can see how to work from day one.
Explaining why candidates are called sprinters, the MD comments that the apprenticeship program is a professional sprint. “It is very fast, eliminates all noise and focuses on learning and providing our candidates with both theoretical knowledge of software and hands-on experience.
“After the first six months, candidates will work on live client projects, which will allow them to understand how to work for real-world clients and with the support of senior business developers.”
SA is witnessing a growing demand for young people to be equipped with the relevant skills to fight the scourge of unemployment.
The country’s official unemployment rate was 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to Statistics SA. Young people are said to be the majority of the unemployed in the country.
In recent years, the government has emphasized the need to develop ICT skills for unemployed young people in SA, looking to the technology sector to enable new opportunities for growth and job creation for local youth.
In addition, the Department of the Interior released a list of critical skills that shows that SA continues to struggle with the shortage of digital skills, with the shortcomings including software developers, systems engineers, information managers and engineers. civilians.
According to Hawkey, the academy is not looking for people who know how to program, as this is something the academy will teach during the one-year program.
Two professors will guide the admission of 15 full-time candidates. In addition, the academy has created a bespoke e-learning platform, where candidates can practice what they have learned when they return to their desks.
Once the one-year learning experience is over, they are guaranteed a job.
“Candidates leave the one – year apprenticeship program with an NQF [national qualifications framework] level five qualification, understand how to code and white skills of having worked in a professional organization from day one.
“This will take their first job, which we will guarantee to our candidates. This could be within redPanda Software, one of our customers or affiliated business partners.
“It greatly alleviates the anxiety of having to find a job after studying, what is my next step or need to study more. We are so confident in the ability that these candidates will have to code that we guarantee them the job.”
It states that redAcademy charges an initial fee, but notes that candidates will receive an academy grant.
“This is an investment in their future before their first job they enter, where their salary will increase exponentially.”