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5 Tips to help you become a software developer

By | Business, Career guidance, Coding, Computer Science, Programming | No Comments
[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”2/3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Software development jobs are amongst the fastest growing jobs globally and a lot of people who have realized this have decided to pursue or switch careers in this direction.

If you are one of these people, we have a few tips which we believe can help in your journey to becoming a developer.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner boxed=”true” column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” centered_text=”true” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”]

[/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]1. Develop a passion for solving problems

The fundamental skill that you are valued for as a developer is your problem-solving skills and then your ability to translate your solutions into code. It would be worthwhile to train yourself to tackle challenging problems that you come across on a day to day basis.

2. Learn more than one programming language

The famous ‘law of the instrument’ by Maslow states “ To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. If all you have in your programming toolbox is Python, you will want to solve every problem using python even when it is not the best option. The advantage of knowing more than one language is that it makes the task of deciding which tool is best suited for a particular problem much easier.

A good platform to achieve this is codewars.com which gives you the option of solving the same problem in multiple languages.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner boxed=”true” column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” centered_text=”true” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”]

[/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”2/3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]3. Be constantly learning and up-skilling.     

Because the tech/software developing industry is an ever evolving field, constant development of one’s skill will be essential. This can be done in the form of reading books or attending seminars to help refine your expertise.

4. Work on as many projects as you can.

The best way to complement your qualification is with a large collection of projects that you have worked on. These projects mean more to a potential employer as they help gauge your level of expertise.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]5. Finally, Find a mentor. 

Find someone with experience that’s already doing the kind of work you’d like to do that can help review your work and help you become a better developer. You can also join online peer review platforms where more seasoned developers can look at work and advise you on how you can improve.

There’s a whole lot more one can do to get started as a developer but we trust the few points stated above are a good start.

If you are wondering what courses would be best take to start your journey to become a software developer, we have a few recommendations for you. You can click on the link below and we will either call/email to provide some advice – Contact us

Or – you can visit our Microsoft Beginners Programming course – and become a Microsoft certified programmer

 

#programming #Microsoft #coding #C-language #HTML #Javascript[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How to stay sane in the Covid-19 Lockdown

By | Business, Coronavirus, South Africa shutdown, Tutoring | No Comments

How to stay sane in the Covid-19 Lockdown

I assume you’re feeling just as worried and uncertain about how things will roll-out as I am. As a mother of 2 younger children – balancing running a company alongside keeping my kids fed, occupied and minimising screen-time – leaves me feeling frazzled at the end of the day. 

So what should we be doing? What’s going to happen? 

I don’t have the answers, but some things I feel fairly certain about: 

    • Shops should get their stock levels right again in a week or so, even if it means limiting people’s bulk buying. Once the shock of lockdown reduces – grocery stores will better predict their stock needs. We saw this happening after the initial shut-down. Let’s not panic.  
    • Schools are unlikely to go back on 14 April as announced last week. We’re thinking the best outcome is May or June, and June holidays will be used as catch-up time. This means finding solutions that keep your kids learning remotely while not requiring too much from you, the parent, is going to be key. A number of free resources and links are included below – each of them vetted by us as appropriate and enriching.  
    • Our kids will be bored at home – and that’s ok. If they have siblings, here is the time for collaborative projects around the house and innovative problem solving – building those 4iR skills we keep on hearing about. Screen-time can be the reward, not the entitlement. 
    • Screens are also ok, just try to limit them somewhat. We’re all stressed and feeling the looming cabin-fever that’s almost here. Some good ‘ol escapist tv or games is understandable.
    • Exercise will be tough to achieve. Why not do a group exercise class using Youtube every morning with your teenage kids? Google “20 minute workout” or “30 minute yoga” and you’ll be amazed at the choice. 

 

 

 

It’s not going to be easy, but this lockdown will become the new normal eventually. Let’s look for the silver linings – like more family time, less traffic and a general slowing down of life – so that we’re not drowning in the negatives. Bill Gates has some really great insights here to hopefully inspire you….read more

Stay safe and warm. 

Joanne – MD Brighter Futures



Free resources across the curriculum: 

  • This Google Doc has a really extensive list of maths, science, technology, music/arts, virtual tours (museums, zoos etc), mind/body links. It’s US based, so check the ages to make sure it’s the right level for your teenagers.  
  • Mindset Learn – is a great bank of SA aligned videos and resources for all subjects and grades.   
  • Google Arts and Culture – really amazing neverending educational videos on topics ranging from our universe to Kenyan superheroes. Check it out.
  • Ted-Ed – very inspiring videos on all subjects 

Free Maths resources 

  • Brighter Futures maths resources – past papers for all grades, worksheets, plus Gr10-12 videos on the entire curriculum, along with a maths book with tons of extra practice questions. 
  • www.siyavula.com – CAPS and IEB aligned with 1000’s of free exam-level questions for Gr8-12s, with immediate feedback whether your answer is correct or not, with a detailed memo
  • www.khanacademy.com – fantastic videos, worksheets and quizzes for all Grades R-12. The content is not SA curriculum aligned, but mostly US Maths and SA Maths is the same.
  • Math is fun: great interactive questions, with animations. 
  • iPractice maths: great worksheets and interactive questions for all grades

Free coding resources

  • https://code.org/ – why not get your kids to learn basic coding while they’re cooped up at home. This is a skill that will help them become more employable after high school. 
  • Minecraft education – really great way to learn block-based basic coding while solving problems along the way. 

Free STEM resources

  • Learn Genetics – if you’re interested in genetics and biology, this site lets you explore and learn via video and interactive lessons. 
  • STEM simulations: really great simulations in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). 

 

Bill Gates response to Covid-19

By | Business, Computer Science, Coronavirus, Food for thought, South Africa shutdown | 3 Comments

What is the Corona/ Covid-19 Virus Really Teaching us?

BILL GATES:
I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being good or being bad.

As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the Corona/ Covid-19 virus is really doing to us:

1) It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should to. If you don’t believe me,
just ask Tom Hanks.

2) It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression.

3) It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.

4) It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet roll.

5) It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials that we need (food, water, medicine)
as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.

6) It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and
to strengthen our family unit.

7) It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what we do, not what we were created to do.
Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.

8) It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are,
a virus can bring our world to a standstill.

9) It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, to look after
only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.

10) It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can either understand that this type of situation has happened many times before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.

11) It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.

12) It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of shelves. We are sick because our home is sick.

13) It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.

14) Whereas many see the Corona/ Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a great corrector

It is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not.

Covid-19 response

By | Business, Coronavirus, South Africa shutdown, Tutoring | No Comments

How to stay sane in Covid-19 times?

Parents are feeling scared and uncertain about what to do in this pandemic. In terms of Maslows Hierarchy of needs – we first want to ensure we can feed our families – hence the panic buying and stock-outs of non-perishables. That’s also our way of feeling a little more in control. One proactive thing we can do.

But the questions around our jobs and our kids schooling – those are much harder to manage with retail therapy.

Working from home with little or big kids self isolating is a challenge to say the least. Firstly, maintaining productivity and motivation without the connection and bouncing of ideas we get from colleagues. Virtual meeting rooms don’t quite give the same experience. A mix of group meetings via video platforms like Microsoft’s Teams, Google Meet or Cisco’s Webex combined with individual phone calls to get the deeper connections we need as humans seems to be working  for us at Brighter Futures. Combined with cloud-based working – so that all team members can work together on one document and see each other’s changes in real-time – feels more collaborative.

Secondly balancing home and kid demands along with work demands is a tight-rope walk for sure. Parents with teenagers are luckier – but you’re still likely asking yourself whether your kids are getting outside enough, connecting with friends enough, doing something productive enough besides just binge-watching TV or game-consols.

Schooling questions are tough. On the one hand it’s supposed to be holidays for most of us now anyway. But we’re not able to go away or go out – which means kids are home spending way too much time in front of screens, especially since many of us are balancing working from home along with parenting. For those who have moved onto virtual classrooms with your schools – the experience is obviously not as satisfying as the physical experience – leaving you feeling concerned about how kids will keep up.

Let’s give ourselves a break. It’s ok for your kids to escape a bit into the world of digital entertainment more than they should – quite frankly we’d all love to as well. If this shutdown continues – we’ll find our groove, our schedule, our mix of entertainment vs productivity. It’s more fluid. Not a definite start and end time to work or school like we’re used to. But we have time to figure it out, what works for our individual family.

As Bill Gates said in his lovely article – “this too shall pass”.

At Brighter Futures – we’ll be sending out a weekly digest with relevant resources (for your kids) and articles (for you) that our team have pulled together. Watch this space and hang in there. You’re doing all that you can.

The Future of Work – Alan Hosking of HR Future Magazine

By | Business, Career guidance, Coding, Computer Science, Programming, Tutoring | 3 Comments

ADDRESSING THE ICT SKILLS SCARCITY, UNEMPLOYMENT AND JOB REDUNDANCIES NOW AND IN THE FUTURE – EDUCATION IMPERATIVES FOR 2020

According to the World Bank Report on Digital Skills in Sub Saharan Africa, the demand for ICT skills is expected to grow in the region at a faster rate than other global markets. They further cite socio-behavioural skills as a priority for a future workforce.

Joanne Brink, CEO of Brighter Futures interviews Alan Hosking on the scarcity of ICT skills in the South African workplace. A tech-savvy ex-teacher, with decades of experience in the human capital industry, Alan sheds light on the way forward to bridge the skills gap which is crippling businesses, with opportunities to tackle existing youth unemployment, and importantly protect the jobs of people who have a likely consequence of redundancy given rapidly evolving AI technology.

JOANNE BRINK: IN 2019, PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA EXPRESSED AN URGENT NEED FOR PROGRAMMING TO BECOME COMPULSORY IN SCHOOLS. WILL THIS BE ADEQUATE TO ADDRESS THE SCARCITY OF SKILLS?

ALAN: As ICT industry commentator Adrian Schofield says, we have to fix the education system and provide education to build a foundation and open the eyes of the youth to the opportunities in the digital world. 

So, President Ramaphosa’s suggestion is indeed valid and a step in the right direction, but I predict the Department of Education’s solution will fall short of what industry really needs, and even if it addresses the gaps, it will take decades to implement across the system. Parents can therefore not afford to wait until government has a solution in place. They need to take responsibility for their children’s education by seeking out online and classroom tuition solutions that can give their children a head-start.

To address the existing problem in the workplace, companies should identify and “upskill” existing at-risk-employees who, with the emergence of AI and other technology, will very likely become redundant. Offering ICT skills to appropriately selected candidates can address the more pressing needs in the present as well as prepare employees for future career path shifts.

JOANNE BRINK: YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IS CURRENTLY PEGGED AT OVER 60% AND GROWING – HOW CAN YOUTH BE BEST ABSORBED INTO THE WORKPLACE, IN PARTICULAR THE ICT SECTOR?

ALAN: Generally speaking, there’s not so much a shortage of jobs in the ICT sector as there is a shortage of skills – hence the “war for talent” of which people speak. It is suggested that 5 000 immigrants are taking up jobs in the ICT sector in South Africa and companies are finding themselves with inhibited economic growth as a result of the ICT skills shortage. We need programmes like the Brighter Futures Coding Cafe to fast-track our youth into the growing number of un-filled programming jobs across the globe. In the US alone over one million coding jobs are unfilled.  

There is also a significant opportunity for unemployed young graduates to become part of the ICT education solution. With little investment in upskilling, they can become ICT tutors and teachers in schools. Imagine the kick-start this could give to ICT education!

Because of the rapid pace of innovation and disruption, learning from the past is no longer enough. We now also need to learn from the future. This presents a further opportunity for youth to contribute to a world in which our youth, along with innovators and global forerunners, are the best source of future trends. Companies should therefore deliberately engage with the youth to uncover infinite unexplored possibilities for their businesses in the future. I have been encouraging forward thinking companies to introduce co-mentoring where seasoned mentors are paired with younger co-mentors. This facilitates a mutual exchange of ideas and insights, which leads to futuristic thinking.

JOANNE BRINK: GIVEN YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE AS A TEACHER AND NOW A VOCAL ADVOCATE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ONLINE LEARNING VS CLASSROOM LEARNING?

ALAN: Online learning has a valuable role to play in terms of just-in-time, anywhere/anytime learning, but it is largely limited to providing information only. Classroom learning, however, particularly with regard to young people, offers much more in terms of an emotional connection between the learners and the facilitator. Collaboration, critical thinking, decision making, leadership, teamwork, reflection and problem solving are cited as critical skills for the future. These so-called “soft skills” cannot however be learned as effectively online. In addition, classroom tuition facilitates socialisation, which can be used to create focus and nurture collective consciousness. The same can be said for adult learning.

In conclusion; the eternal, universal methods of teaching children that have worked for thousands of years should not be abandoned in the quest to expedite ICT skills development, but what, how and when we learn has to evolve to the next level. The tragedy is that it is unlikely that the education system will get there early enough. 

Joanne Brink is the founder and CEO of Brighter Futures (www.brighterfuture.co.za). Together with university students & graduates employed as tutors and centre managers, Brighter Futures offers Microsoft certified programmes at their Coding Cafes in 25+ school centres in the Gauteng region with a growing footprint. The Coding Cafe offering has emerged as a result of their success in maths tuition, with parents, teachers and learners in awe of the difference they have made in the lives of those they have engaged with.

Alan Hosking is the Publisher of HR Future magazine (www.hrfuture.net), which prepares people and companies for the future of work. He is a leadership development expert who specialises in developing leaders of all ages to reboot their leadership skills for the future. His company, Osgard, is an authorised reseller for a world-first Artificial Intelligence technology that digitises human expertise. In 2018, Alan was named by US web site Disruptordaily.com as one of the “Top 25 Future of Work Influencers to Follow on Twitter”.  

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