Decagon Partners Sterling bank, Others To Develop New Generation Of Software Developers - Paul Ukpabio's Blog

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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Decagon Partners Sterling bank, Others To Develop New Generation Of Software Developers


L-R Ibi Cookey, Project Manager, ACA Foundation Tech Grant; Tayo Ashiru, Head of Marketing, MainOne; Khafil Animashaun, Head of Strategy, Sterling Bank; Chika Nwobi, Founder, Decagon; Dipo Adebayo, Head Organisation & Talent Acquisition, Sterling Bank
New Lekki located IT company known as Decagon says it’s here with a mission to get Nigeria to the same level with the top five software technology countries in the world, for the beautiful aim of solving national and international problems by impacting in the students, the essential technological knowledge that is similar to what can be gotten from the renowned silicon valley.
Founded about a year, the program can boast of 7 engineers, who are called 'decadevs,' having completed their training and another 22 on the verge of the completion of their programs. Yesterday, 5th of August, 2019, another set of 43 students commenced a six months program at the Nigeria's emerging Silicon Valley.
This program, which is planned on the aim of having at least, 5000 students in its first years and, 30,000 in about ten years is designed to have its trained students support at least a student each, after the completion of their programs. This approach will in a long way upsurge the number of students that would passed through the knowledge of Degagon and will proudly have at least a million people in its first ten years, directly and indirectly, altogether.
The founder of Decagon, Mr Chika Nwobi who spoke to newsmen at an interactive session said he was inspired by the technological advancement and financial benefits that have been generated for the top technological countries in the world, citing United States of America, England, Poland, Israel and Ukraine as instances, he said, I began asking questions about what was really the issue with Nigeria for not being able to be boasting of technological graduates like the Silicon Valley and Tel-Aviv.
While reacting on what surged his interest and chided him to start the company, he said, the ecosystem of US and Tel-Aviv have foundations in which their youths have experienced the foundation which includes but not limited to their exposition to technology, right from the outset of their life; ability to build workable softwares among others, all of which have gotten them a surplus of software engineering talents.
He proceeded by saying that, for Nigeria to get to where it is supposed to be, there is need to invest in talents. We all know that Nigeria has huge youthful population and that, huge youthful population is very attractive to a lot of companies, but the reality is that the population has 53% unemployment among the youths. Meanwhile, globally, the huge demand for software engineering talents has made India to have 3.9 million software developers writing software for companies outside India and are generating more that $100 billion a year as a non oil export revenue.
To him, Nigeria has a similar large chance like what India has in technological spectrum, to be a source of supply of talents for markets like England and America, where most of these engineers are consumed. In his word, he said, the advantages are time zone which is similar to Europe's because India has about two days overlap with England's time zone. And other chance is that Nigerian youths speak English. Another chance is that, brilliant Nigerian youths have chances of working in other sectors like finance, oil and gas while the Indians have only technology space to embark after graduation.
Listing what he called the 'missions' of Decagon, Chika, a graduate of Economics and Computer Science from East Tennessee State University said, “over the decade, we want to get Nigeria to same level of performance in software engineering with the leading software engineering countries in the world. We want to solve local and international problems. We want to have about a million people writing software with ten times the numbers of the people currently working in banking, oil and gas sectors altogether.
The program which has within its short span of establishment, received popular acceptance by partnering with Sterling Bank to provide subsided students loan. The loans is said to be the first of its kind in the country, with a payback upon securing a job. The loan covers accommodation, feeding, laptop, and monthly stipends.
While speaking for her organization, Head of Strategy, Sterling Bank, Khafil Animashaun, said: “It’s a move by the organization to support alternative education by providing the loans for Nigeria students with financial literacy. For the success of this, we have earmarked #10b for the project and so far, we have been doing this not only to Decagon but also, all the eligible Nigerians with a subsided interest.
The project Manager for Africa Capital Alliance [ACA] Foundation Tech Grant, Mr Ibi Cookey said, the reason for supporting Decagon program is because, “it’s our way of supporting what is creating a new ecosystem. The foundation of our company which has a branch in giving back to the people aids our decision to partner Decagon and to make impacts. We see Decagon as a sort of layout where a lot of things can be built. Decagon is important to us because, it creates facilities and open the mindsets of coming generation.”
Among the other partners present was Mainone company that facilitates a free internet for the students. Speaking on the recruitment method, Nkem Alozie, the program director of Decagon said, “our recruitment process is very intense, cumbersome and rigorous. Out of 1500 that applied, only 35 were admitted in our ongoing course. And because of agile delivery system we adopted, we equip our students with a lot of soft skills for presentation, interviews and modes of corporate world. We adopt end-to-end process for them in order to have complete package engineers. We provide them loans that covers the whole of their tenures here because, 100% of the students here cannot afford the training fee. But, they will have to pay back their loans at the end of the program–within the time frame stipulated after employment, because it is sure, they will be employed immediately they finished here.”
The training which allows self financing can as well be paid for even if traveling abroad after the completion of the training, since the pumping of tech-literates is the objective. The self financing does not however bring down the rigor of the screening exercise.
The founder said, standing out among companies that do similar things is not his objective but, the desire to make Nigeria a power house in software technology supply in the world like India, Ukraine, Poland, US, England among others.

 

 

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