Code Lab, an initiative to close the software developer skill gap in Iraq
What’s Code Lab?
Code Lab is an intensive one-week software development boot camp which focuses on teaching software development best practices and patterns by following OOP (Object Oriented Programming) and Software Engineering principles and taking advantage of modern tools and frameworks to enable developers to build stable, scalable, and maintainable software systems in a rapid workflow.
What inspired us to start Code Lab?
With the massive entrepreneurship movement that’s happening because of events such as Startup Weekend, Innovation 4 Development, and Fikra Fair, many startup ideas are becoming a reality and are mostly tech startups.
But, there is a significant need for qualified software developers who can create comprehensive software solutions that are stable, scalable, and maintainable.
The same issue applies to enterprises and large businesses, having to resort to outsourcing to fulfill their software development needs, and forcing them to pay huge amounts of money, because of the lack of competent software developers.
What causes this skill gap?
Most out of the startups currently present in the scene are developed locally. Apps such as Mu3amala, Mishwar, Miswag, Sha6bu5, Daleel, and Chanbar are all developed by the same 7-9 developers, and this is mainly because:
- An outdated educational system, an obsolete curriculum, and the faculty are not entirely qualified to develop the students' skills, having almost no practical experience. The aforementioned circumstances result in computer science and software engineer graduates who have absolutely no knowledge of modern tools that are actually in use worldwide.
- The entry level to software development is low (all you need is a text editor and a 30-minutes tutorial to get started), which is a good thing. But this causes some principles and practices to be ignored, which isn’t a problem for a developer writing software at a small scale (which is where they start), but when they deploy software at an enterprise scale, issues in performance, security, scalability, and extensibility arise, and this causes tremendous losses to the company
- Most developers are stuck using outdated tools and platforms, which exposes the systems they develop to massive security vulnerabilities, and performance drawbacks; and makes it visually unappealing due to old design language, which is evident when you realize that most supermarket/retail software is written using VB6 and MS Access 2003.
How will Code Lab solve the problem?
Code Lab was founded and organized by software developers who have an extensive experience in the market and have developed software products that are deployed at a large scale.
We are aggregating years of experience in an intensive 1-2 weeks boot camp.
We've already held one last November on developing Android Applications, which was sponsored by Zain, and it was a huge success. Our graduates are currently developing performant Android applications in their companies and organizations, or as freelancers and students.
And we're currently doing weekly live, interactive broadcasts teaching software development fundamentals and basics to help getting aspiring developers on the right track.
Code Lab boot camp will continue conducting intensive intermediate to advanced level boot camps to empower participants to write comprehensive, enterprise-grade software products after graduating.
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