Social entrepreneur Arlene Mulder is the co-founder of WeThinkCode, a tech institution feeding the demand for software engineering skills in South Africa.
WeThinkCode funds top human talent with the potential to become the future coders of the country.
The Johannesburg-based company offers aspiring software engineers or programmers an opportunity to study for free.
Mulder explains that WeThinkCode aims to remove the barriers to entry in the tech space.
We believe that you can be born with the aptitude and have the potential.— Arlene Mulder, MD and Co-Founder of WeThinkCode
Even if you had not even finished matric, you can still apply.— Arlene Mulder, MD and Co-Founder of WeThinkCode
One of the missing links [to employment opportunities] is the access.— Arlene Mulder, MD and Co-Founder of WeThinkCode
The studies are completely free, no prior coding experience is required and a matric certificate is optional, she advises.
To apply, students are assessed based on three aptitude tests or games that are open to people of all languages.
The innovative tertiary model uses peer-to-peer learning, which means no teachers and no classes.
Students study on a full-time basis for two years, spending eight months on campus and four months interning each year.
Mulder, a former investment banker, explains that coding is used as a tool to solve problems.
WeThinkCode works with the private sector for its funding model and helps place graduates into jobs as world-class software engineers.
They've got a clear path to employment at the end, with a job waiting for them with one of our sponsors.— Arlene Mulder, MD and Co-Founder of WeThinkCode
The private sector are paying to find talent.— Arlene Mulder, MD and Co-Founder of WeThinkCode
100% of our students will be placed in jobs.— Arlene Mulder, MD and Co-Founder of WeThinkCode
The two-year-old company employs 13 employees and has a turnover of over R20 million.
Visit the We Think Code website to learn more.
Take a listen to the inspiring entrepreneurial journey and the business model: