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Africa: SA’s free coding college is looking for students

Timothy Rangongo

WeThinkCode, a tuition-free training institution with campuses in the Johannesburg and Cape Town, is recruiting new students for 2019.

WeThinkCode’s campus in the Joburg CBD.

Founded three years ago, WeThinkCode has large corporate sponsors like Standard Bank, Investec, FNB, Dimension Data, Telkom and Outsurance, which offer employment opportunities in their IT departments to some WeThinkCode graduates.

Final year WeThinkCode student, Naledi Matutoane (second from left) with fellow coding students at the E-kasi Tech and Gaming Festival in Soweto recruiting prospective students. (Photo: Business Insider SA)

This is what it takes to get into WeThinkCode’s free coding programme:

Age and availability

You have to be between the ages of 17 and 35, and be able to study full-time for two years. While the course is free, students from outside of South Africa are responsible for the cost of their study visas.


Prior education and experience

A WeThinkCode student in Johannesburg engaged in coding. (WeThinkCode)

No prior education or coding experience is required.


Online application and test

WeThinkCode student, Alyson Ngonyama’s reflection on a computer screen with code. (WeThinkCode)/(YouTube)

Applicants provide basic information as part of the online registration process and then have to play online application games at apply.wethinkcode.co.za

The games test applicants’ abilities to solve problems.

Those without computers can make use of WeThinkCode’s computers by going to one of the campuses in person during regular testing days.


Bootcamp

Those who’ve passed the online application will be invited to participate in a month-long bootcamp, which will then decide who is suitable for the full-time course.

WeThinkCode is revolutionising learning with no teachers or classes. Students are, instead, given coding and development problems to solve among their peers.

Naledi Matutoane, final-year student at WeThinkCode and representative of the institution at the recent E-kasi Tech and Gaming festival, told Business Insider that “although there aren’t teachers, campus managers monitor how we work.”

Matutoane, who’s always been interested in computer science but didn’t meet the stringent requirements for maths and science set by universities, started the programme straight after matric after passing WeThinkCode’s recruitment bootcamp.

There are students who’ve come as far as Zimbabwe and Ghana to enrol for the free two-year coding programme.

WeThinkCode wants to open five new campuses across Africa by 2024.

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