Mentorship in software engineering is such a critical aspect of the life of budding app developers. Most of our universities have no experience centres and since the third world countries also import more apps than they develop, I think we need to send our students out to Europe, India and USA to attain these skills and build products for Africa.
The only problem is that most of the students go to these countries and come back without utilising their experience or when they build apps, their target market is not Africa. We need apps for Africa and by Africans.
Google avails the opportunity every year in their Zurich office to students studying computer science or related technical courses at African universities. The search engine giant is currently accepting applications to the Google Software Engineering Africa Trainee Program.
The program is open to promising African students as it seeks to expose such students to the software engineering project management life cycle. One student who has gone through the program is Ghana’s Kobla Setriakor Nyomi, a student at Ashesi University and Deborah Masara, who studied at Kenyatta University.
He described his experience in the Google Africa Trainee program as “an invaluable learning experience,” where he learned to write software more effectively and efficiently. During his internship at Google in 2010, Kobla worked with Google’s Africa development team and two other African interns to develop mobile features and applications for the African region and users world-wide. Deborah worked with the Internalization and Africa teams on researching, planning, coding and implementing new product features.
Interns are paired with a Google Engineer who serves as their host and technical leader, and work on projects that have a direct impact on the way Google operates. Kenya, said that her best experience was learning how to work in teams.
The program is a paid, full-time position and 3 months in length taking place from June to August. To apply, students should be enrolled in a Bachelors, Masters or PhD in computer science or a related technical field and be within 12-18 months of completing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, or at any stage in your PhD.
You can apply for the program by visiting http://bit.ly/uRhWo2 for more details.