A total of 50 students have participated in a two-week interactive training exercise aimed at building their capacity in software development. The training codenamed – JAMS was organized by Grammen Foundation and conducted by Thoughtworks, an international IT consulting company. JAMS was also aimed at equipping the students with business analysis skills. “Apart from software development, we want the students to learn how to think from the customers’ perspectives,” said Kishore Yekkanti, a software developer from Thoughtworks.
The training, conducted at the College of Computing and Information Sciences exposed the students to development practices like Test Driven Development (TDD), Object Oriented Programming. Kishore added that it was important to expose students in Uganda to writing software programs using operating systems like Linux and Unix why are being used by several companies.
“We hope that after these two weeks, we have built a community of students who will pass on what they have learnt to their peers,” Kishore said. With support from organizations like UNICEF, Grameen Foundation, Yo and SMS Media, it is envisioned that more JAMS sessions will be conducted at the College.
This training, according to the students offered them the opportunity to engage in more practical software development sessions with their tutors and also learn new techniques like agile development and other design patterns. “We had boot-camps every morning and these helped us learn new software development patterns, adding onto the knowledge we gained in class,” said Viola Bazanye, a 3rd year software engineering student. “With these new skills, I do not think I will need to search for a job upon completion of my studies in June, I intend to develop new software products that will ease the provision of services in Uganda,” she added.
Eric Kamara, Grameen Foundation’ technology manager said Grameen in Partnership with the College of Computing and Information Sciences will conduct a series of more activities aimed at building the students’ software development skills in preparation for their integration in the job market. “As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, we want to avail more mentorship opportunities for these students and also share our skills to them to meet the needs of the current competitive job environment,” added Kamara.