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Hour Of Code Zim event scheduled for the 4th of July; why should we care?

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Hour of code is back in town again. Hopefully that statement no longer draws as many blanks stares as it used a while ago. After all, 300 people have been introduced to programming through this initiative.

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But in case you missed it, Hour of Code is an event aimed at teaching people from all walks of life the basics of computer programming. Zimbabwe became part of the global phenomenon last year through a patch of events hosted by a bunch of tech enthusiasts called the ICT Generation. 

On the 4th of July, Hypercube Harare will be hosting another edition of Hour of Code from 9 am to 11 am. As always the whole thing is free, so if you want to be part of the movement that hopes to take Zimbabwe to the digital age, you can sign up by following this link.

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Sign Up For Hour Of Code Here

One of the Hour of Code’s biggest strengths as a contributor to tech skills development is that its for anyone and everyone interested. You don’t need to have coding experience to take part in the event. If you are are an experienced programmer, you can help teach those who have little or no coding experience.

Why is this sort of thing a big deal though?

A couple of years ago coding was not mainstream. It was associated with the nerdy people. The stereotypical image of a programmer painted by popular culture was of a bespectacled, White/Asian male who spent countless hours in front of a computer. But that’s far from what coding actually is.

Nowadays coding is an important skill to have. The problem solving skills you acquire from learning to code can be applied to a variety of areas from the arts , sciences to business. Although coding is an important skill, there is a shortage of coders in not only in Zimbabwe but worldwide.

A glance at the roll-out of Computer Science in High Schools in Zimbabwe as a yardstick on tech introduction in the learning curriculum is disappointing. Forget the ambitious (and shrouded-in-mystery) School Computerisation  Program, the fact is that skills in computers, let alone coding, are not taught in the majority of schools.

Our focus in local education is being revised to include foreign languages including Swahili and Chinese. That has its merits, but the education board is mum on addressing the issue of expanding the number of schools offering computers and technology.

It’s a well known fact that Zimbabwe has a high literacy rate. Like most countries we have addressed the issues of traditional literacy. But the challenges countries face have changed, so has the definition of literacy.

Coding is now the new literacy and Zimbabwe is in need of educational support in line with this. Maybe it’s time we stop focusing on Swahili, Chinese and Psychomotor skills and talk about Zimbabwe’s digital literacy.

If you plan on spending your time preparing for Swahili or Chinese curriculum, good luck ! There is no love lost from me. But if you want to cultivate time and effort in the information and digital economy, let’s meet up at the Hour of Code this Saturday.


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8 thoughts on “Hour Of Code Zim event scheduled for the 4th of July; why should we care?

  1. “…….there is a shortage of coders in not only in Zimbabwe but worldwide……..”. I strongly disagree, I know it’s debatable, there is no shortage of developers in Zim, there isn’t even a demand for developers in Zim. We need more teachers, nurses and civil engineers not coders. Yes we can talk of innovation, but innovation is not needed only in I.T, it’s needed in all fields and industries.

    “…but the education board is mum on addressing the issue of expanding the number of schools offering computers and technology….” Is it the duty of the Ministry or the school to introduce a new subject? Why would a school invest in Computer Studies labs, computers e.t.c when there is already a shortage in the Physics or Chemistry division?

    “…Coding is now the new literacy and Zimbabwe…” I think we need to invest in Maths and Science skills, not try to make everyone a developer. You also mention that problem solving skills acquired in coding can be used in other aspects of ones life. Isn’t Math education trying to achieve this from Grade 1 to Form 4?

    1. Whats your argument?
      “there is no shortage of developers in Zim, there isn’t even a demand for developers in Zim.”
      where the hell do yu get those statistics??
      ” I think we need to invest in Maths and Science skills”
      seriously???
      Based on your opinions im sure yu are more than 60 years old, but yu know what uncle… they already invested in maths and science way back before yu where even born but still……??
      right now i can go to the shopping centre and still feel lke ” im the only one here whith programming knowledge” among hundreds of people, but everyone nkows science and mathmatics…
      “You also mention that problem solving skills acquired in coding can be used in other aspects of ones life. Isn’t Math education trying to achieve this from Grade 1 to Form 4?”
      SO WHAT???? SO SOFTWARE CAN’T SOLVE THE PROBLEMS JUST BECAUSE MATHS Education HAS BEEN TRYING THAT FROM G1 TO F4???
      Older people wont understand the power of Computer science in our moden wolrd….
      things changed uncle!!!!!!

  2. “” there is no shortage of developers in Zim, there isn’t even a demand for developers in Zim. in which world are you#TheKing..right naw you jus used th power of comp science to write such a dirty biased comment..yet you say we should invest in Math and Scienc …”what we need are civil engineers” Uncle as Charle said you need to wake up..engineering has programming!!!

    1. Putting your emotions aside, can you guys show me where the demand foe developers is. I would be happy if you could share links. Charle, I bet you one of those kids who thinks they can code because you can play around with a CMS, no that’s not coding boy. I will bet every cent I have you are a wanna be PHP or VB developer, who at best knows some CMS.

      Show me companies hiring devs, I will agree, it’s very difficult to find a good dev, mostly because of people like Charle who oversell themselves, however there is no shortage of devs in Zim. Don’t take world wide trends and apply them to the Zim situation. I will tell you for a fact, it’s easier to find a job as a Pharmacist than as a dev. Do not mislead the people cowboy coder Charle, ask the real devs about the job market.

      1. i wouldn’t call this thinking outside the box, but if a person has the ability to code really well then doesn’t that mean their future is literally in their own hands? i dont think we should liken the “demand” for developers with that of doctors, nurses or engineers. those jobs need the presence of an already established entity (hospitals, telcom companies) for them to exercise their trade. with developers, as long as u have a computer and in “empowered Zimbabwe” u can make your own disrupting product and not necessarily stick to joining developer businesses that are already existing. if its experience u need first, leave the country and come back with newer and fresh ideas that help u create your own market. my point is, if u r a developer, dont restrict yourself to searching for someone to hire u, take a risk and make something of yourself by making something yourself

        1. I agree with you that you can make something disruptive and earn a living from it. My point has always been the demand for developers in Zimbabwe is imaginary. I do not see any openings out there for devs. Being in the field my self, I have seen many leave the country for S.A, Aus and Ireland, because of the lack of opportunities here.

          Innovation is required in all fields. Even engineering grads can build something disruptive and make a living for themselves. There are a group of engineers that figured a way to extract methane from lake water and started a business generating electricity and selling to the main grid in West Africa. Then there are these girls that created a urine powered battery. The engineers that created a way to store rain water underground during the rainy season to be later used during the dry season. These are all non I.T innovations. Look at the plethora of problems we have in Zim from energy to agriculture. Don’t we need innovation in all these fields? To me it’s all about innovation in science rather than strictly I.T which is why I don’t want to see a focus on I.T education, but rather on Science education, after all all the good developers I have met took Science subjects at A-Level, and which is why UZ and NUST will not give you a Computer SCience place if you don’t have at least a B in A-Level Mathematics.

          In India, the States e.t.c there are countless innovations coming from the biotechnology, chemical engineering and energy sectors proving that innovation should not just be limited to I.T.

          1. “In India, the States e.t.c there are countless innovations coming from the biotechnology, chemical engineering and energy sectors proving that innovation should not just be limited to I.T.”..i think you have made it clearer now
            ”not just limited to I.T” …and from what you said earlier on you do have a point there is no shortage of developers in Zimbabwe! Does this mean studying Comp Science is pointless here in Zim?

  3. haha smelling some beef right there. Isn’t I.T. a part of STEM. We need to focus on all of STEM to get a better result.

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