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5 Tips to help you become a software developer

By | Business, Career guidance, Coding, Computer Science, Programming | No Comments

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.

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.

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.

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

Our own future #BillGates – meet Sphephelo Mabena

By | Coding, Computer Science, Game development, Programming | No Comments

Here’s our own future #BillGates or #MarkZuckerberg :-). @Sphephelo Mabena only Grade 11 from @St Francis College in Benoni has developed his own mobile app on the Google Play store. Called 𝟒𝐋𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐥 – it was built for minibus taxi commuters, to calculate their change and analyses the history of commuter transactions. To access the app click here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.local.a4local3



Sphephelo built 𝟒𝐋𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐥 because he witnessed a fight break out in a minibus taxi because of a miscalculation of change. Sphephelo has dreams to become a software engineer (that’s why he joined our Microsoft Programming course) and build his own tech company one day.  


If you’d like to follow in Sphephelo’s footsteps – join our Microsoft Programming Certificate. It’s perfect for beginners and you’ll build your understanding in mobile app, web, software development and databases. To find out more – https://www.brighterfuture.co.za/programming/


#programming #mobileapp #ProudlySA 

How to become a Game developer?

By | Coding, Game development, Programming | No Comments

According to News24 – the SA Game Development Industry is growing 75% year on year (from R150 million in 2018). So if you’re a gamer and have the drive to create beautiful things – Game development may be just the thing for you! Given how new the industry is in South Africa, now is the time to catch this 4iR train! And why limit yourself to SA – if anything Covid19 has shown us how the globe is much smaller than we thought if using technology.


What Gaming companies want:

So the most important thing you need to have if you’re wanting to join a Gaming company is a portfolio of games you have developed. If these games stand out among the crowd, companies will be softer on the other requirements.

According to Insights.dice.com Gaming Companies like Twitch, Rockstar GamesGoogle, EAUnity, and Jam City look for the following key skills and qualifications:

  • Bachelors degree in computer science/engineering, electrical engineering, information technology, or a related field (and as discussed before, if your portfolio of games ROCKS then exceptions can be made)
  • If you’re wanting to become a software engineer in gaming – you’ll need to know programming languages like C++, Golang, JavaScript , DevOps and Linux. And if you’re going into mobile game development, proficiency in languages like Objective-C and Swift (for iOS), and Kotlin and Java (for Android) are key.
  • You need to be a strong gamer yourself, there’s no better way to know what the experience should be like by being a user first
  • You’ll eventually need an internship or junior position in a Gaming Company to gain the key experience that comes from working with top Game Developers. Or volunteer!
  • And again – the most crucial step is creating a portfolio of games you’ve designed yourself that showcase what you can do!

Types of careers in the Game Developer industry:

Here are some of the top careers or jobs in the Game Development industry:

  • Software engineer – the person who develops the game from the animation through to the engine programming. Think of this person as the engine. Currently 29% of the jobs available in Game Development are software engineers.
  • UX Design – this person is creating the user experience and making it beautiful. Ideally this person needs to be familiar with augmented and virtual reality. UX designers account for 25% of jobs open in Game development industry.
  • Data analyst – this person needs to analyse all the billions of users activities, looking for patterns and trends to improve the gaming experience. As well as revealing potential bugs. Currently around 11% of game developer jobs are in the data analysis space.


Where do I start?

We recommend starting out with the Unreal Game Design course. It’s basic enough that a beginner can join, but by the end of if you’ll have your first game developed from scratch. You’ll be learning how to create players, worlds, collisions, adding audio…..basically all the components you need to know in order to develop a game using the Unreal Game Engine.

If you’d like more advice on how to pursue a career in gaming – Click here – fill out your details and we’ll call/email you back to provide you the best possible advice.

Top 5 careers for Computer Programmers

By | Coding, Microsoft MTA, Programming | No Comments

So – you’ve decided you need to “learn to code” and become a computer programmer. Maybe someone in your family said that technology is the future, and you need to know how to talk to the machines. Maybe you’re super interested in tinkering with technology, so Computer Programming sounded like an awesome idea.

But what do the careers look like once you’ve studied computer programming? Do you even know if they interest you?

There are some universal skills you need to go down this road. Like being able to think analytically and problem-solve. And counter to what most people think – communications skills are also essential as you’ll have to communicate with non-tech people in order to assess the business overall needs. Lastly, for those interested in designing new apps or websites – creativity is very sought after in these careers.

So – let’s round up the top-5 list of careers in the computer programming and computer science fields. (Because everyone loves a “top-5”, don’t we?) We’ve chosen to include those careers that have entry-level positions where you can step straight into from your studies and move right up to expert and director-level after a number of years.

Software Developer

Software developers create software programmes. Uber’s app, whatsapp and many more all required a software developer to create, test and maintain these software applications.

Skills required:

  • computer programming
  • technical creativity
  • problem solving
  • communication skills

An average salary for a software developer is R325,000, but can be up to R730,000

Data Scientist

Data scientists help companies interpret and manage data, analyse trends in the business and solve complex problems. Harvard Business Review called data science “the sexiest job of the 21st century”.

Skills needed:

  • computer programming
  • modeling
  • statistics and maths
  • analytical thinking
  • strong understanding of the business

An average salary for a data scientist is R410,000, but can be up to R830,000

Web Developer

Web developers design, develop and maintain the front-end and back-end of websites, ensuring websites operate across multiple browsers. They also structure their websites to maximise search engine optimisation

Skills needed:

  • computer programming – in html, css and javascript ideally
  • creativity and design understanding
  • communication skills

An average salary for a web developer is R200,000, but can be up to R530,000

Cyber Security Analyst

Cyber Security professionals are responsible for protecting companies’ networks and websites from cyberattacks and other security breaches. To keep on top of their game, they are also responsible for researching trends in data security to anticipate problems and install systems to prevent issues before they occur.

Skills needed:

  • Computer programming
  • Systems and networking
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Maths and statistics
  • Critical thinking and curiosity to learn


An average salary for a cyber security analyst is R280,000, but can be up to R830,000


Computer and Information Research Scientists

Computer and information research scientists invent new approaches to technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They solve complex problems in computing for fields like business, science, medicine, and….anything really. Any field where technology can be used – you can apply new approaches or modify existing technology to solve a new problem in a different way.

Skills needed:

  • Computer programming
  • Robotics
  • Data science
  • Analytical skills
  • Logical and maths skills
  • Creativity and interest in building new things

An average salary for a Computer and Information Research Scientist is ~R200,000, but can be up to R1 million (depending on what you’ve discovered or built :-))

Where to start?

The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certificate in Software Fundamentals gives you a fantastic overview of the field of Computer Science. It is the starting point for all of the above career choices. From there you can see (a) if you even like programming as a career choice and (b) which part of programming or computer science you’d like to explore as a career.

We recommend this as your starting point.

If you have basic programming experience already and are looking to either (a) get certified or (b) get a more advanced certificate in programming – give us a shout and we can advise you based on your career and tech goals. Contact us – by clicking here

How to become a Web developer?

By | Coding, Microsoft MTA, Programming | No Comments

We’ve recently discovered this really great open source learning map tool that shows the skills or learning path required to become a web developer – both front end and back end. We suggest you check it out if you’re thinking about this as a career in these timultuous times!

Front end developer:

A front-end web developer is responsible for implementing visual and interactive elements that users engage with through their web browser when using a web application. They are usually supported by back-end web developers, who are responsible for server-side application logic and integration of the work front-end developers do.

Back end developer:

Back-end Developers create, code, and improve the server, server-side applications, and databases that, when combined with front-end codes, help create a functional, seamless experience for the end-user. They study industry trends, create or improve back-end processes and codes, and work with others to design a better program.


Where do I start?

We recommend starting out with the MTA Software Development Fundamentals. It’s basic enough that a beginner can join, but meaty enough that you’ll be gaining some of the key skills required to becoming a web developer in the course. And it gives you a good all round sense of the field of programming – so that you can decide from there how to specialise.

If you’d like more advice on which programming course to select for your career – Click here – fill out your details and we’ll call/email you back to provide you the best possible advice.

How to become a Computer Programmer?

By | Coding, Microsoft MTA, Programming | 2 Comments

Computers don’t understand our spoken languages, so coders translate human instructions into programming languages computers can understand and carry out. The coronavirus has accelerated the 4th industrial revolution. Worldwide there was already a shortage of Software Developers, Coders and Programmers even before COVID-19 became part of our reality. This demand is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years.  Canada alone is currently looking for 1,2 million immigrants just to fill the IT skills gap before the end of 2023 and the Microsoft Head Office in the United States of America is looking for an additional 450 000 Developers.  This pattern is consistent across most countries.

How do I become a Developer?

In the past career pathways were static and lengthy. The pathway to become a Developer is as at your own pace and requires a minimum investment of 18 months. There are options available to specialise as you grow your expertise. Here’s some basic information before you embark on your journey:

Your journey to become an internationally certified Developer is linked to the following pathway: 

Step 1: Get the fundamentals 

Step 2: Get certified as an Associate 

Step 3: Get certified as an Expert

Step 4: Get certified as an Expert Developer


Step 1:

You will need to complete all three modules below to build your fundamental coding knowledge and get to step 2 

What will I learn?  Module  Duration  Certification 
Block based coding concepts Minecraft: hour of code One hour  Completion certificate 
This is an introduction to coding and computer science by way of making Microsoft’s easy and powerful MakeCode block-based coding environment. Learn to Code: Micro:Bit 40 hours  Completion Certificate 
Students code with blocks to build original games based on classic patterns for motion, events and loops using code blocks for Sprites, Keys, Music, Scene, (screen) Info, Images, Loops, Variables, and Math. Building games (MakeCode) 35 hours  Completion certificate 



Step 2:

You will need to complete the courses and exams (as per your option choice) below to become a validated Developer on an Associate level (Junior Developer). 

If you are looking to create applications, working in a corporate team – Software Development (OPTION 1) is for you. 

Alternatively, if you are looking to exercise your creative brain, work for yourself, visualise websites for clients to improve the user experience, then being a Web Developer (OPTION 2) is an option you should consider.

Step 2  Option 1: Software Developer

In this option we move away from web development and a sole proprietor setup and we are rather gearing you to become part of a corporate software development team building software solutions for the company you are employed with and all their clients. These courses teach you to do software development in specific programming languages, as well as the conceptual idea behind software development fundamentals) 

Total duration: 120 – 150 hours

You must complete the three courses and exams below to move onto level 3 (Expert)

What are you learning  Module  Duration  Certification 
You are learning to code using Java

(learning the coding alphabet – the basics)

Introduction to programming using Java  Forty to fifty hours  Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

Introduction to programming using Java 

You are implementing what you have learnt in Java to create a web application (learning the coding vocabulary – still basics) Introduction to Python  Forty to fifty hours  Introduction to Python

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

You are learning how to be creative with the new language you have learnt and can create applications 

(you’ve learnt the basics above, now you can write a book)

Software development fundamentals  Forty to fifty hours Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

Software development fundamentals

Step 2  Option 2: Web Developer   

If you complete this level, or certify in one of these programming languages, you can become a web developer, working remotely and from home or you can achieve the MTA exam to validate your knowledge on Web development, put this on your CV and potentially get a job with a web development company like Red Cherry locally in South Africa. This web development certification is on an intermediate level, and will offer you the opportunity to start your own Web Development company with backup credentials directly from Microsoft.

You will need to complete the two courses and exams below to move onto level 3 (Expert)

Total duration: 80 -100 hours preparation time, 3-4 hours certification time


What will I learn  Course  Duration  Certification
You are learning to code using Java

 (learning the coding alphabet)

Introduction to developing websites using HTML (hypertext markup language) and CSS (cascading style sheets) Forty to fifty hours  Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)-Introduction to developing website using HTML and CSS 
You are implementing what you have learnt in Java to create a web application (learning the coding vocabulary) HTML 5 application development fundamentals  Forty to fifty hours  MTA – HTML 5 application development fundamentals 



Step 3 Expert: 

The almost final level of validation of your knowledge is the Expert level. This level will culminate in further international certifications called the MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) level. On this level you will become a Development Team Leader or a Software Engineer specialising in a specific programming language.

What you would be learning:

Courses at step 3 cover different programming languages to do software and web development. Some included are ASP.NET, C sharp, HTML 5 on an expert level and CSS 3, also on an expert level. These certifications are highly sought after by employers, as they are the global standard against which all Developers are measured. These exams are the highest level of certification offered by Microsoft globally. 

You will need to complete the courses and exams (as per your option choice) below to become a validated Developer on an Expert level, you can choose one or you can do all of them. If you do them all, you become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

MCSE:  To earn Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification you will need to pass the following three exams:

Course name Time  Certification 
Programming in HTML5 with Javascript and CSS3 Approx. 60 – 100 hours MSCA 

Programming in HTML5 with Javascript and CSS3 (Exam 70-480)

Programming in C# Approx. 60 – 100 hours MSCA Programming in C#

(Exam 70-483)

Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications Approx. 60 – 100 hours MSCA 

Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications (Exam 70-486)



Step 4 – (MCSD): 

After earning your MCSA and MCSE, to earn the MCSD certification you will need to pass one of the following elective exams, making you an expert in this subsection of speciality/programming language:

All the below courses offers a speciality in the coding world, subdivided as follows:



Course name Time  Certificate
Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services Approx. 60 – 100 hours Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services (Exam 70-487)

Average salary annually: R500 000 – R750 000

Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions Approx. 60 – 100 hours Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions

(Exam 70-488)

Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions Approx. 60 – 100 hours Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions

(Exam 70-489)


Average annual salary: R300 000 – R900 000

Administering Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Approx. 60 – 100 hours Administering Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server

(Exam 70-496)

Software Testing with Visual Studio Approx. 60 – 100 hours Software Testing with Visual Studio

(Exam 70-497)


Average salary annually: R800 000 – R1 000 000

Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions Approx. 60 – 100 hours Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions

(Exam 70-532)

Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions Approx. 60 – 100 hours Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

(Exam 70-535)

Implementing Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions Approx. 60 – 100 hours Implementing Microsoft Azure DevOps Solutions (Exam 70-538)


Does this seem like too long a journey to you?

We recommend skipping straight to Step 2 and starting out with the MTA Software Development Fundamentals. It’s basic enough that a beginner can join, but meaty enough that you’ll already be well on your way to becoming a developer. And it gives you a good all round sense of the field of programming – so that you can decide from there how to specialise.


If you’d like more advice on which programming course to select for your career – Click here – fill out your details and we’ll call/email you back to provide you the best possible advice.

The Future of Work – Alan Hosking of HR Future Magazine

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


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.


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.


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.


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”.  

You gave our children reason to dream..

By | Computer Science, Microsoft MTA, Programming, Tutoring | No Comments

From Monica Kenneth, parent of Masechaba (Gr 8) and Thabo (Gr 9) at Uitsig High School

“Morning, my deepest and sincere appreciation to you Agi, you’ve been everything we’ve never been to our children, u gave our children reason to dream and to achieve those dreams, you really empowered our kids and we are really grateful. They’ve made it to the next grade and thanks to you, all your hard work and dedication didn’t go in vain. Looking forward to start a new year with a bañg and having you by their side, we are certain that victory is ours. Have a blessed , merry and prosperous Xmas and New year in advance. Monica”

December Newsletter 2019

By | Computer Science, Diagnostic assessment, Maths, Microsoft MTA, Programming | No Comments


I can’t believe how the year has flown – yet it’s also felt really long! I’m sure you also feel the need for some R&R and we wish you and your family all the best for the festive season. 

At Brighter Futures – we had an exciting year:
1) As part of our vision to bring 21st century critical skills to our learners, for jobs that haven’t been invented yet – we attended the International Technology Association’s “Future of Technology” conference – read more about it…

2) In line with our vision, we launched the Microsoft Software Development Certificate programme (Coding) for high schools. Read more about how our Gr8-11 learners from Bryanson, Curro and Sacred Heart College performed. We’ll be rolling the Coding programme out to 20+ Gauteng high schools next year. Read more… 

3) Maths Cafe – Feel Good, Do Better, Be Best
Testing over 15,000 Gr8 and 9 learners, our diagnostic assessments show that 40-50% cannot do the primary school basics. Maths Cafe is an 8 month programme that will unlock those blocks in maths by targeting the foundations and building learners confidence. Let’s help learners feel excited about maths again. Hear from our learners, parents and teachers. Read more….

We look forward to continuing to expand our programmes and centres, helping more learners develop the critical 21st century skills required – for jobs that don’t even exist yet.

Warm regards,

Brighter Futures CEO
087 805 2600