Creating a community of collaboration and coding

Creating a community of collaboration and coding

President Barack Obama asked in his State of the Union address that “we live in a time of extraordinary change, change that’s affecting the way we live and the way we work. New technology replaces any job where work can be automated. Workers need more skills to get ahead. These changes aren’t new, and they’re only going to accelerate. So, the question we have to ask ourselves is, ‘How can we make sure everyone has a fair shot at success in this new economy?’”

The answer is coding and computer science education.

The good news is that if you are not able to attend courses or university after school, or if you are in a different role and want to upskill in software development, there are many organisations today assisting people at all levels to get involved in the world of code.

In South Africa alone, there’s a strong IT community with a plethora of knowledge-sharing events to attend, if you know about them. There are also several different organisations assisting and growing individuals in this space. So, who exactly are they and how can you get involved?

GirlCode is a social enterprise that aims to empower young girls and women through technology. Their vision is to impact 10-million women across Africa in 10 years, starting with getting young girls interested in STEM. It aims to do this through strategic partnerships with the public sector; strengthening collaboration with similar organisations; and leveraging corporate assets in the development of ICT facilities, infrastructure and networks within schools in disadvantaged communities. GirlCode run workshops throughout the year, which are aimed at the community and are positioned to accommodate all skill levels in various technologies, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and more.

Geekulcha is where young, skilled, creative and ambitious tech minds meet to connect with each other, share knowledge, collaborate on projects, network with industry leaders, obtain training to further improve and enhance their skills and to put that newly acquired skill to work. The platform has over 11 200 tech enthusiasts and innovators across Africa. Their focus is on empowering young geeks through ICT skills development and training while giving them a taste of what awaits them in the big world through industry exposure. Their ultimate goal is to help the young innovators with skills for employment and innovation development. Geekulcha provides a variety of platforms and events for growth while being exposed to the corporate world. All Geekulcha events are free.

User Groups. Local and international organisations have also realised the need to help facilitate, train and assist in the education and upskilling of the community, especially here in South Africa where the skills shortage is prevalent. We value building relationships and the community around us and believe that if you can network with peers in the industry, you can learn from what they are doing. Participating in user groups is a great way to improve technical, presentation and networking skills. They are free to attend and anyone can join in. Visit or sign up on to view events.

The Entelect Foundation is an initiative designed to provide support to the underprivileged in the community; be it financial aid, schoolwork or counselling. The primary focus of Foundation is on educating the community to equip them with skills that will help them become self-sufficient. On Saturday mornings Entelectuals volunteer to help tutor the learners from our offices, having put many children through better schools with better results in the past year. Through the Entelect Foundation, we even helped one learner through high school and university, who then finally joined Entelect as a graduate software engineer.

For more information or to get involved, visit

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