The Samsung sponsored App Factory Internship program celebrated the graduates of their first cohort on Thursday, 26 November 2020 at the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Over the course of nine months, the interns underwent a tailored software development program under the guidance of one of the project managers and seasoned software developers at Tshimologong, Barbara Engle.
First Cohort graduates
The App Factory Internship Programme welcomed 8 eager interns. These self-driven, young people all have big dreams within the software development and tech industry, however, many of them faced undeniable challenges on their journey. Speaking on behalf of her fellow graduates, Lindiwe Mncwabe shared her journey, when I studied computer science, I knew it was my passion. I knew that it would enable me to embrace technology and be a part of shaping a better tech future.
She recalls how difficult it was at the beginning, how she had to work harder than most of her peers while studying at the University of the Witwatersrand. “I had to push myself, I was under a lot of pressure. However, the App Factory Internship program was not like that”, says Lindiwe. Lindiwe describes the App Factory as a safe space to grow, share, and learn.
The graduation evening was an inspiring one. With guests including, the CEO of Samsung Electronics Africa, Sung Yoon. Mr. Yoon, who joined the event remotely, shared encouraging words to the graduates. “It is an honor to celebrate the graduates of the first cohort of the Samsung sponsored App Factory. Congratulations to all the graduates. I know it was not easy, you all overcame the challenges you were faced with throughout the program and I am very proud of you. We at Samsung plan to continue to do more in skills development within the tech industry”, said Mr. Yoon.
Among the distinguished guests, was the incoming Chair of the Tshimologong Board and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, Prof. Ian Jandrell. From the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Chief Director, Jacob Maphutha as well as the program manager and Head of Software Development at Tshimologong, Thurairajah (Raj) Rajakanthan.
Providing a solution
Tshimologong and Samsung’s partnership aligns with Samsung’s R280-million Equity Equipment Investment Programme (EEIP). The EEIP aims to continue the journey of building software development skills for unemployed youth, along with Tshimologong’s tech incubation which not only grows the tech start-ups of tomorrow but also provides quality software development skills for young South Africans.
“Tshimologong is committed to growing tech skills in South Africa and the only way we are going to do that is through talent and partnerships. Our priority is providing our interns with critical technical skills, which I believe we have done through this program”, says the CEO of Tshimologong, Lesley Donna Williams.
The 2nd Cohort of the App Factory
Given the current state of the world, the persistent challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, everywhere, Tshimologong and Samsung’s second cohort is both timely and needed.
The second cohort is imminent and Tshimologong is looking for graduates who can demonstrate their ability to code in C#, Java, and C++ and are familiar with object-oriented principles. Successful candidates will be paid a stipend for the duration of the internship.