Overview of the program

The program provides an opportunity for software engineers from Mbarara, Uganda to be mentored by U.S. professionals in software design and analysis, development and information technology project management.

The program is targeting software engineers with foundation knowledge in data science, software designing, and analysis in Uganda. These software engineers are mentored by professionals at Idea Center (an innovation hub) based at the University of Notre Dame in the United States of America as a pilot. The US professionals are expected to poses knowledge in no-code platforms and project planning and management.

The aim of this program will in the long run increase employment opportunities for at least 10 software engineers, connecting them to U.S. technology startups and introducing them to technology tools and programming languages used in the U.S. technology ecosystem.

The focus of the program is;

  1. Online mentorship. The mentorship was done by the selected 2 US professionals (John Henry and Ellen Joyce).
  2. Development of three projects (1 complete project and 2 MVPs)

In 2023, we enrolled 10 software engineers from Mbarara City with funding under the Reciprocal Exchange Program by the US Department of State, Mandela Washington Fellowship implemented by the International Research and Exchanges (IREX)

Overview of the curriculum

The Coding 4 Business curriculum aims to equip software developers with the practical skills needed to build software solutions that meet business needs while preparing them to work collaboratively and ethically in the software development industry both locally and internationally.

The curriculum is designed to create new opportunities for software developers in the local and international technology community. It is expected through this program the selected software engineers in Uganda will gain skills, experience, and competence to develop MVPs for the selected projects at IDEA CENTER.

The selected professionals at IDEA CENTER facilitate a blended learning environment that builds both knowledge and expertise through two approaches;

  1. Collaborative Learning: Group projects and discussions, and
  2. Immersive Learning: Hands-on application.
The Mentorship curriculum schedule

The mentorship is spread over 10 days. The following is a breakdown of the curriculum based on the instructional schedule:

Day one: Overview of technology tools that are widely used in the US to develop Minimum Viable Products.

Ellen Joyce helped the participants to learn how to use the prototyping tools such as Bubble and UiZard to build and test their MVPs. The focus was on helping the software developers understand how such no-code platforms are helpful in MVPs development.

Day two: Over of the Programming languages that are used in the US context

Although they are a number of programming languages that are widely used to develop software projects. Ellen Joyce guided the participants to get an overview of the front-end and back-end programming languages that are commonly used in the US.

From this session, the software developers in Uganda were helped to know how the tech products are developed, tested, and deployed including the hosting platforms in the US.

Day three: Work readiness skills for software engineers

John Henry mentored software developers on the work readiness skills needed to execute complex software development projects. These include; Problem, communication, collaboration, project management, attention to detail, time management, creativity, and adaptability.

Software engineers need to know how to analyze problems, communicate with stakeholders, manage projects effectively, goal settings, track progress, and manage deadlines.

Day four; MVP development process

John Henry presented two ideas to the participants. They were helped to define the project scope (listing minimum features), and design user flows and interfaces.

Day five: MVPs requirements definition

The software developers were helped to go through the requirement-gathering process which involves;

  1. Requirement gathering:
  2. Analysis of requirements:
  3. Validating and Documenting requirements
Day six: Development of workflows

The software engineers were guided on project development workflows which include among others; defining project tasks, workflows, the definition of roles, timelines, and deadlines, implementation, and monitoring.

Day seven: Development of MVPS

After understanding the requirements and project core features, the software engineers were able to;

  1. Start on the prototyping phase.
  2. Test it with project owners to get feedback and validate the idea.
  3. Iterate and refine the MVPs
  4. Presentation of the final MVPs.

A total of software developers benefited from the 1st cohort of this program.

Three ideas were developed and these include;

  1. Trophy Details
  2. Baby Sitter
  3. Latin Lingo

We acknowledge the support and funding from the US Department of State, Mandela Washington Fellowship, and IREX.

We are also open to partnering with organizations and technology companies on this program. We believe that with the right partnership, we can develop software engineers with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the industry. Please contact us to discuss potential opportunities.

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