Future Coders: Rwandan Teenagers on Creating Websites | The new times

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At the age of 11, Wellspring Academy student Gabriel Sean Ngoga was able to develop a basic website where visitors can access and watch different movies.

This is after he enrolled in Future Coders, a KLab program, which provides basic programming skills to children aged 12-17.

Inspired by the Covid-19 lockdowns, Ngoga developed the web to help moviegoers access it on his platform.

“If I keep developing it, it will be like a Rwandan Netflix,” he said, proud of the progress he has made.

“Basically,” he continued, “you go to the website, you see a trailer for the movie before you can decide to watch it. You have to sign up for an account first. took four weeks to finalize its layout and a few more to modify it.

Consolatrice Byiringiro, Head of Programs at KLab, speaks to students who have completed the training. Courtesy

His dream is to become a professional coder and he is about to enroll in an advanced program which he believes will be his launch pad into the world of mobile app development.

This makes his mother, Maureen Byamugisha, proud as she believes coding is the future and has played an important role in helping her son pursue his dreams by enrolling him in helpful programs like Future Coders and providing him with internet and the desired equipment.

“I’m proud that my son has a passion for coding which I believe is the future and that he works hard to learn skills and develop them,” she said.

Raymond Ntwali, another graduate of the Future Coders program is a Senior 4 student at Lycée de Kigali.

The 16-year-old was also able to develop a shoe store website where one can access and buy different types of shoes.

“Nowadays, most people like fashion stuff like shoes. That’s why I said, why not create a shoes webpage and help my colleagues get the best shoes? Then I started designing the shoe store,” he said. “I think when people come to my page, it will help them get quality shoes of their choice. They don’t have to waste time looking for the shoes they need and sometimes never find them.

Gabriel Sean Ngoga presenting his website

He noted that while developing the website, he used HyperText Markup Language (HTML), the code used to structure a web page and its content, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the coding language that gives a website its appearance and layout, and JavaScript, a powerful and flexible programming language that can run on a web browser that allows creating interactive web pages such as context menus, animations, form validation, among others.

He aspires to keep improving his website by adding more options that visitors and users may need and to keep learning in order to become a better programmer.

The path to follow

According to Consolatrice Byiringiro, Head of Programs at KLab, in the first cohort of the Future Coders program that took place online in February 2022, four students graduated with the desired skills.

“We enrolled students from P5 to Senior 4 and they had no idea about programming and how to develop a website, but now they are good at developing their own websites and hosting them,” he said. she said, adding that they were going to enroll the graduates. in their 4-month advanced program, KLab Startups Academy, so they can access advanced skills and work on projects to bring to market.

She added, “We create as many capacity building programs as possible. Within the KLab Startups Academy, we train tech talents to become tech entrepreneurs but also software engineers to develop their own projects. We give them business skills to take their ideas from the ideation level to the prototype level. We are also willing to invest in software analytics and data analytics to equalize the technical skills we offer with the business skills needed in the market.

Byiringiro also revealed that in the next cohort of the Future Coders program, they are looking to train children in their schools and training space in Kacyiru starting mid-June.

Jean Michael Nzakwituriki who trained the children of the first cohort said it is important to train them when they are still young because the future of work is going to be digitized, adding that they want to prepare them in advance so that they can have a solid foundation for the future.

He noted that while training them, he helps them understand the programming language and gives them time to brainstorm and come up with their ideas.

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