Bootcamp: Remote Working Taskforce

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The steep learning curve of our interns on their way to become members of our distributed team.

End of January our partner Awesomity Lab initiated a 12-weeks coding bootcamp and Code of Africa is happy to support constantly with soft skills training sessions. The bootcamp is aiming to upskill six interns (chosen out of over 100 applicants with software engineering background) and to enable them to become members of a taskforce specialised in working remotely on international IT-projects.

Remote communication has been one of the main soft skill topics from the first day of the bootcamp onwards. Beginning of March, the interns had to work on the topic working remotely in an intercultural environment and we scheduled a joint video-session with all co-founders where they had to present their findings in three teams of two. The results were good to great looking at their research findings, preparation and presentation - technical- as well as communication-wise. After a couple of more training and feedback sessions, the most precious result came up this week when we experienced a tremendous improvement of the presentation and communication skills of our interns when they had to pitch their own App ideas via Zoom to a broader audience. All of them demonstrated that they have already digested the learnings and making the most out of the current circumstances where they have to continue the bootcamp working remotely from home.

As part of their training we are asking the interns to write weekly journals – describing their challenges and achievements of the previous working week. In their last week s journal, they have shared very openly how the restrictions (influenced by Covid19) impacted their working-style and how important it was to get to know theory, now put into practice, about remote communication:

"Generally, this past week has been enriching professionally, despite the pandemic outbreak. Although the week was full of rumors and social panic due to the Covid19 outbreak, it did not stop me to work from home as I was advised by the government and the company s CEO. Coming back to my profession, it was an immense opportunity to learn how to work in a self-controlled environment, whereby I had to plan when to sleep, when to wake up, when to pause, etc. We are still working on the stock management App and for now, we are a team of four working on it. So, what if everyone of us would have their own schedule yet we are working on the same product? That was the moment where the communication tools (in particular Slack, Zoom and Miro) appeared to be very useful. As stated above, this was an enriching week in terms of remote working experience - mainly because I have learned how to use those tools efficiently."
Didier Usanase, Software Engineer Intern, Kigali
"This last week I had to work from home. This is how I started to become familiar with a tool that provides remote conferencing services: Zoom. I have used Zoom before of course, but without any doubt, last week I was able to gain more and more experience with it as all meetings with my teammates had to be held online. I was able to ask questions and help from my teammates whenever stuck on something. Sean Combs said, "Everyone has challenges and lessons to learn - we would not be who we are without them." This last week I had to ask questions and to support my teammates fully remotely, and to be honest, it was not as easy as I would have done it face-to-face. But while moving forward, I hope to improve, because I am not afraid of challenges - I learn from them."
Patrick Tunezerwane, Software Engineer Intern, Kigali
"I am excited to herewith share my achievements and challenges while working remotely with you. Firstly, working in a remote environment has helped me to keep my budget and safe some money: Since I am staying very far from the office I have normally to pay for transportation such as moto taxi or public bus. Secondly, it has helped to increase productivity because most of the time when you are heading to the office by bus or bike in the morning you face traffic jams and reach the office later than expected – in a nutshell: It becomes really interesting when you stay far away from the office. So, when you are working remotely you just set up your alarms and other tools that are needed to work remotely and you will always be on time because everything is automated. That is what I mean by increasing productivity as we use to say: "Time is money!" In conclusion, I can not wait to share my excitement about remote work as I am a part of those who believe that "The future work is remote". No matter how challenging it is to work remotely, I think we should start looking for solutions instead of giving excuses about it."
Vainqueur Bihame, Software Engineer Intern, Kigali

We are very happy that the educational part of Code of Africa s Mission delivers what we hoped and aimed for. Looking forward to further development of young talents in Rwanda. If you want to know more about our work, please contact us via our contact form.

Published By: Axel Kuhlmann, Advisor Business Development

Published on: Fri Mar 27 2020