In 2010 I started up a website called South African Coderz http://southafricancoderz.weebly.com/
This was at a very low point in my life when I was sitting around the pool after being retrenched from the company where I had been working for a period of 2 years. It was difficult to assimilate as this was always something happening to the “other person” and people close to retirement, this time it was neither.
As I gradually began to function on a daily basis and return to reality I became aware of all the news and reports on how badly the world economy was doing, then I started to really notice how the country was struggling to find employment and that we were sitting with a huge problem on our hands more people where leaving school each year than could be absorbed into the economy. Being part of a global economy now and no longer a pariah “apartheid state” we were affected by the big wide world. Global slowdown meant South African slowdown, thousands of people were left jobless and no one seemed to have a solution.
I became aware of the campaign for current business to “create” jobs, chuckled briefly, wondering how a director going to work one day would suddenly decide. ”hey I’m going to hire an extra person today”. Sadly the exact opposite is happening, you are far more likely to find yourself unemployed “to save costs” than to find an extra employee in the empty cubicle next to you, who had been hired to help already stressed out staff.
I then realized that I was employed, or had been, employed in one of the very few industries where it actually is possible to “make new work” Software has 3 main categories all of which actually overlap to some or other extent.
1) Business software : which consists of maintaining and creating new software for specialized business functions
2) Personal software: which consists of creating new applications to assist us in daily productivity a money stream which is growing exponentially by the way because of the tablet and mobile market. It’s the one side of software where you can have a license to print money
3) The other avenue which is often scoffed at but is the one industry which is the fastest growing worldwide and even survives recessions is entertainment and specifically the gaming industry which is now out grossing the movie industry and shows zero sign of slowing
On the website I refer to only 2 computer game companies who started with 2 or 3 people in their garages and now employ thousands of people. Now that is how you create work!
Anyway this got me to thinking. How to increase the number of programming companies?
Training! But as anyone knows programming training is horrendously price exclusive. Very few of the talented people that want to enter the field are able to as the cost of training is a huge entry barrier
On top of that any person in the industry will loudly proclaim that anyone coming from training or heaven forbid university is worse than useless and needs to be retrained. They need to unlearn their book smarts and learn to program “in the real world” where there is no 8 to 5 and never enough time to get projects complete. Any person coming from any training institute needs extensive coaching before they will be allowed to be “let loose” on the companies code base.
With all that in mind I started the South African Coderz website. The goal of which is to reduce the number of unemployed people and create a pool of talented experts who could either go out and work for a software company or use their skillz to go and create their own business which will also grow to hire hundreds of staff from developers to kitchen staff
South Africa is currently struggling with an education crisis. I have a number of ideas to use technology to help improve the problem. One of the revolutionary ideas that have just been implemented worldwide by Microsoft is the concept of Cloud computing where it is no longer necessary for organizations to have expensive servers and personnel to administer them. This is perfect for the school environment. Teachers will have zero responsibilities to set up or administer the infrastructure that will be maintained by us on the Microsoft Cloud environment
School staff, administrators and pupils will only need to log into the service via laptops, desktops and mobile phones.
To this end, this company will like to introduce our first product which will be designed to operate on conventional computing platforms as well as mobile technologies and although it will be targeted towards Microsoft’s new Wiz Bang platform, namely Windows 8 we will make sure that it is fully backwards compatible to the smallest computer running on Windows 3.1 and even the Linux Platform
The first product
We are proud to announce the first product we will release will be an online spelling application. Intended to help improve spelling of primarily English, as it is the internationally accepted language of business but also of all the official language’s in the Rainbow Nation (copyright Mr. Nelson MandelaJ)
It will be designed with a heavy emphasis on gamification. This is the granting of special badges, awards, tokens and achievements to students who excel at the application. It will be created in such a manner as to create an environment of “success”, co-operation and competition between pupils and schools.
It is envisaged to work as follows
Pupils register on the system and indicate which school they belong to, they then proceed to document the world around them by taking pictures using camera’s , mobile phones and even using stock pictures from the internet . This photograph is then added to the application along with a spelling of the object in the pupil’s mother tongue. For example a picture of a Volkswagen Beetle and the spelling in English
This achievement will allocate a number of points to the child and post it on a central database.
Children from other schools can then see the picture and either
– Challenge the spelling
– Add spelling in another official language
The addition of spelling in another language will add points to that child
A successful challenge of the spelling of a word will give the challenger double the points
We will obtain the help of as many teachers as possible to adjudicate the entries in the database
Well that’s the rough idea of the first product; don’t want to give to many ideas away just yet
Neeeeeed help. Teachers? Unemployed people? Looking for an interesting adventure?
Contact me @ 03h00 and we can discuss, I will be awake btw J