It’s the worst kept secret that if you’re going to get one superpower in 21st century Africa, being a code ninja should be high up on your list (that and superspeed to avoid those evil traffic jams).
So where can you gain these skills? A quick dash across Lagos, caused a few places to pop up:
If you’re thinking of programming as a fulltime career, your first stop should be Andela.
Andela is a programming training school with a twist – they pay you to learn programming. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Get out of here!” Yeah, sounds too good to be true, I know. Fortunately, it isn’t. The only niggle is you can’t just stroll into Andela, no sir. You have to earn a spot on the roster by passing through a bootcamp and showing sufficient promise. The selection process is quite intense (only about 0.8% of applicants get accepted).
Over the course of four months, you’ll be trained as a software developer after which you’ll commit to a four year internship of sorts where you’ll work remotely with technology companies partnering with Andela.
All this while still running your training and development in the ancient art of code jutsu.
CcHub runs several training programs targeted at different demographics. For example, the Summer of Code and Makers Club programs trains kids (between ages 5-18) and equips them with basic programming skills, and they don’t even require any prior knowledge of programming at all. There’s also Codecamp for early stage programmers. And so on.
As a coworking space, it is also a good place to meet with fellow coders, all with different levels of programming skills, from the enthusiastic noob to the veterans.
If you have time, discipline and the bandwidth, Youtube is still a reliable resource for learning almost anything. There are several channels dedicated to step by step instructionals on how code nearly everything from basic things (like a calculator) to extremely complex stuff. Another advantage is you can find videos on how to write almost anything just by typing “programming how to …” in the Youtube search bar.
The only problem is when you run into bugs, you may need another pair of eyes on your code. Which you can find at the coworking spaces in Lagos. Just remember to be personable.
Everyone’s favorite free online tutorial centre. Coursera has training videos from more than 120 universities from all over the world. This is similar to the Youtube option above but with more structure. Courses are dished out on a schedule, with weekly deadlines. Coursera also promotes forums where students can discuss with other fellow students on their lectures.