Young software developers get career boost via AppFactory
Samsung-sponsored programme exposes interns to much-needed extra theory and practical training
The AppFactory is a software development internship programme that exposes interns to real-world projects under the dedicated guidance of a senior developer.
Samsung SA has announced immediate additional funding for this employment initiative for 2022, which is an essential part of its R280m equity equivalent investment programme (EEIP).
While SA's ICT sector has the potential to unlock vital economic growth, a greater focus must be placed on skills development to enhance its impact.
This is why the additional investment for the Samsung-sponsored AppFactory, in partnership with Microsoft, and the Future Innovation Software Development Programme will further fuel efforts to increase the number of experienced software developers in the country.
The internship programme is hosted by the Tshimologong Digital Precinct in Johannesburg and the University of the Western Cape. Its aim is to assist graduates struggling to find employment in cases where their tertiary education does not cover sufficient theory and practical training. Sponsored graduates will be equipped with expertise and knowledge that appeals to potential employers.
With a total investment in software development over the previous 10 years of R94m, the programme provides a full scholarship to the students that includes equipment, a stipend and tuition fees. To date, 311 unemployed young people have participated in the R&D programme, with 226 students already proud graduates, ready to take their place in the local ICT sector where these skills are sought after.
The sole responsibility of the overseeing senior developer is to focus on the growth of the interns
The interns are exposed to high intensity and fast-paced instruction over the learnership period — resulting in them gaining invaluable industry experience. The sole responsibility of the overseeing senior developer is to focus on the growth of the interns by providing the right mentorship and guiding them on real-world projects. Importantly, the programme has also attracted female graduates, who are an integral part of future growth in the sector.
Lindiwe Mncwabe, who is completing a programme internship, is already reaping the rewards. She now has a job at a leading automotive brand as a Java developer, a role that may once have seemed impossible but is one which she’s fully embraced.
Raised in Soweto, her references and experience of technology was limited until she was accepted onto the programme. It’s with great enthusiasm that she says: “I would like to grow to be one of the most sought-after developers in the country and in the future have my own technology company. I now dream that I can one day hire young black women and help them hone their craft for long-term success.”
This intern-centred approach by Samsung enables the students to grow their competence and sharpen their skills, and serves as a solid foundation for the graduates to continue to grow and be part of shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
This article was paid for by Samsung.
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