The headkey of this project is to mentor African developers and give them an insight of the European software industry to give them a head start in finding a job and helping them grow their career. The main thing to innovate growth is the recognition of faster growth to give informal access to more experienced peers, rather than a training program.
A buddy is there for all kinds of questions and help. From questions about how to network, how to make your LinkedIn profile more attractive for companies, about the EU Software industry to theory about tech or new languages or frameworks.
We started a sustainability initiative called the Fair Trade Software Foundation in 2005. The Fair Trade Software Foundation is an initiative that makes sure that developers in developing countries have access to the transfer of best practices of working in teams and that they have the same knowledge as we have in the EU. This makes it easier for ICT companies in developing countries to make contact with local and international companies to unlock potential growth opportunities. The world of ICT is all about sharing knowledge with each other. In this process we recognised that mentoring is a very important tool. Which brings me to an example of one of our first projects.
While we were working on The Fair Trade Software Foundation we got in touch with a lot of developers who had just graduated or were looking for a job. But because there is a big gap in knowledge between the EU and African countries they wanted a mentor from the EU to help them with for example job interviews, share knowledge and tell them how it is like working in the EU. That’s when we started our project in Kenya called CodePamoja.
CodePamoja means CodeTogether in Swahili. This project was about getting EU developers to work together on real projects with African developers. This was a big success! We had a big group of African developers to work with EU developers to work together and share knowledge. Because this was such a success, there were a lot of developers who asked for another project like this. We listened and started a new project called CodeBuddies!
Everyone in the world deserves equal opportunities. At the moment there are hundreds of African developers or young graduates who cannot get a job. This is because they have not received or could not get the knowledge and experience that we have in the EU. With 1 or 2 hours a week you can ensure that they have a better chance of a job, and that only by sharing knowledge. The most effective knowledge would be about project management and if there is more time, tech as well.
For you this is an opportunity to have some fun and do some good at the same time, and it doesn’t require big efforts. All you would have to do is talk tech with a young African graduate for a few minutes every now and then (e.g. every week) to help them learn. It’s a great way to practice your training, mentoring and soft skills, and you get to make some new friends at the same time. You can make what you want with it, add it to your CV, blog, vlog, get others involved or just chat. Up to you. You can be one of the first participants. We’re making a badge as proof of your participation, and you will be able to join the Fair Trade Software Foundation in a new membership category.
We have got a whole list of African developers who want a CodeBuddie. When we’ve got your application, we will match you through your techstack and the techstack of the African developer.
After we matched you, we will send you and the African developer the contact information and from then it is up to you. We will do a check after one month to see if everything is going well but you can see this as your own project. If at some point there are no more questions from the African developer, we can arrange a new CodeBuddie for you. If you find this enough or if you don’t have the time, that’s no problem at all and you can just stop without being tied to anything.
A CodeBuddy is a volunteer who likes to explain things about IT to an African developer. Buddy is a collective name for coach, buddy or friend – someone who gives you that little bit of extra attention/guidance.
A CodeBuddy will teach an African developer about project management like:
– How do I make a network?
– How do I make my LinkedIn profile attractive for companies?
– How does the European Software Industry look like?
– How do I prepare for a job interview?
Of course, if you both have enough time you can teach tech as well. What you will teach depends on the developer that you have been matched with.
You will be matched based on tech stack, availability and personality.
You can see this as your own project, so that depends on you and your CodeBuddy. We would like to see that you both made a plan where some of the topics above have been discussed. Based on that you can fill in the duration.
We suggest 1 or 2 hours a week so that you have some time to do this. If you want to spend more time that’s also fine.
Yes, the program has started the second week of November. But no worries, you can still participate!
If you want to participate in this project I would like to have a video call with you to get to know you a little bit more better.
If you have any questions or if something is not clear, you can schedule a video call with Yasmine. Schedule an appointment in her agenda!