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Skills gap: WeThinkCode_ and System Verification team up
The South African software development academy WeThinkCode_ has partnered with System Verification, a global software quality assurance company based in Sweden. The collaboration aims to bridge the critical skills gap in the field of Test Automation, which is in high demand both in South Africa and around the world.
System Verification has a successful history of collaborating with local universities to build a dynamic workforce in overlooked and underappreciated places, such as Sarajevo, Bosnia, where the company opened an office in 2013.
The company’s founder, Hamdija Jusufagic, believes that partnering with WeThinkCode_, which enrols youth from underserved communities, will grow the talent pool of world-class Automation QA engineers in South Africa.
“We believe that there is no substitute for local context and boots on the ground,” said Jusufagic.
“Our partnership with WeThinkCode_ is fully aligned with our mission to close the digital skills gap and put South Africa’s tech talent on the global map.”
The collaboration between the two organizations enables WeThinkCode_ students to elect a specialised field after 14 months of learning software development fundamentals. System Verification brought its world-class Test Star curriculum and augmented it with WeThinkCode_’s leading curriculum developers to offer the Automation QA elective track, which piloted in late 2022.
With over 100 graduates from the first Test Star class, Aslam Khan, board member and co-author of the core curriculum at WeThinkCode_, is pleased with the outcomes of the elective pilot and looks forward to the journey ahead with System Verification.
“There is an acute shortage of Test Automation QA engineers around the world, and this creates a huge opportunity for South Africa’s youth,” said Khan. “Our partnership with System Verification is fully aligned with our mission to close the digital skills gap and put South Africa’s tech talent on the global map.”
The collaboration creates meaningful value for everyone involved. Graduates from the academy acquire highly sought-after QA skills, and the companies that fund the tuition are now able to tap into a pipeline of QA engineers. System Verification also offered students support beyond the curriculum content. The company’s employees volunteered to act as technical mentors and tutors to the students.
“We held an initial Q&A session in September 2022, where nearly 150 WeThinkCode_ students were able to ask questions to our team of experts,” said Jonas Gyllenspetz, System Verification’s chief growth officer. “After the session, they continued to communicate through a Slack channel and supported the students until the final project showcase.”
The practical curriculum that has been developed and fine-tuned over the years is administered in a manner very similar to the WeThinkCode_ peer-to-peer learning environment. With some adaptations, the WeThinkCode_ edition of Test Star is delivered over eight weeks of full-time study and is now incorporated into the WeThinkCode_ learning platform.
“We are thrilled to be working with an organization like System Verification, which is the leader in its field,” said Nyari Samushonga, WeThinkCode_ chief executive.
“As a growing supplier of highly skilled and work-ready software developers, it’s critical that we keep the curriculum aligned with market demand and ensure that students are adequately equipped to deliver above and beyond their fundamental programming skills to enhance their employability.”
The long-term strategic alignment between the two organizations will ultimately create more local and global opportunities for WeThinkCode_ graduates. The success of the pilot programme has set a solid foundation for the partnership, and both companies are excited about the journey ahead.
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