A Project-Based Coding Academy For Africa

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A Project-Based Coding Academy For Africa
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Unique Class Organization

A learning environment that mirrors a real company

Every class at ACA is organized like a software company and taught by instructors or Engineers in Residence who themselves could be alumni of the program. Companies are comprised of 15-20 Devs) who work together on projects in ad hoc teams of 2-3.

In order to graduate from the session, devs work collectively toward personal, team and company goals that are determined at the beginning of the session.

 

  • Sessions lead by Engineers in Residence
  • Assisted by 3 teaching assistants or Project Managers
  • First day: Devs choose the company name, logo and vision
  • First project: build company homepage

Project-Based Learning

Learn by solving problems using key programming concepts

Over the course, our 10-15 week sessions, ACA’s curriculum is based around Projects and broken up into 1-2 week sprints. At the beginning of each sprint, Devs are presented with a problem requiring the use of key programming concepts to solve.

While the goal is to find the solution it is also to learn the process of investigation by breaking down problems into smaller manageable pieces. Teams are required to work together on projects designs to span multiple sprints.

 

  • Lectures once a week, rest of week devoted to projects
  • Daily morning ‘standup’ meeting to share goals and progress
  • The final project represents the culmination of Dev’s work
  • Demo Day consist of Project presentation and of course, a party!

Project-Based Learning

Learn by solving problems using key programming concepts

Over the course, our 10-15 week sessions, ACA’s curriculum is based around Projects and broken up into 1-2 week sprints. At the beginning of each sprint, Devs are presented with a problem requiring the use of key programming concepts to solve.

While the goal is to find the solution it is also to learn the process of investigation by breaking down problems into smaller manageable pieces. Teams are required to work together on projects designs to span multiple sprints.

 

  • Lectures once a week, rest of week devoted to projects
  • Daily morning ‘standup’ meeting to share goals and progress
  • The final project represents the culmination of dev’s work
  • Demo Days consist of Project presentation and of course, a party!

Global
Mentorship Chain

Each Dev is assigned a mentor to guide and champion progress

ACA recruits engineers from around the globe to mentor and sponsor students. Devs in advanced classes are assigned to Devs in basic classes, themselves mentored by outside engineers.

Mentors provide a vital perspective to their mentees and provide Devs with key feedback that is essential to software development.

The mentorship concept is developed early and is essential to not only school culture and but also to our replication strategy.

 

  • Dev provides a daily standup progress report to team and mentor
  • Mentors review code submissions
  • Provide feedback, instruction and encouragement to Devs
  • Graduates hired by ACA must commit to 1 year as a mentor

Global
Mentorship Chain

Each Dev is assigned a mentor to guide and champion progress

ACA recruits engineers from around the globe to mentor and sponsor students. Devs in advanced classes are assigned to Devs in basic classes, themselves mentored by outside engineers.

Mentors provide a vital perspective to their mentees and provide Devs with key feedback that is essential to software development.

The mentorship concept is developed early and is essential to not only school culture and but also to our replication strategy.

 

  • Dev provides a daily standup progress report to team and mentor
  • Mentors review code submissions
  • Provide feedback, instruction and encouragement to Devs
  • Graduates hired by ACA must commit to 1 year as a mentor

Training, Retention, and Replication

Attracting talent and nurturing from within

One of the crucial challenges for any company is to attract and retain top talent. In the case of the ACA, we have the unique ability to not just attract, but to directly develop talent from within.

We intentionally refer to lead instructors as ‘Engineers in Residence’ (EiR) because they play a key role in designing and developing the platform from within the school itself. This continuous development of code contributes to the meaningful advancement of the platform for future classes.

 

  • Top students offered assistant or Project Manager positions
  • Project Managers will, in turn, be offered EiR positions
  • Virtuous circle helps propel school growth and aids autonomy
  • New academies can be established in other areas

Training, Retention, and Replication

Attracting talent and nurturing from within

One of the crucial challenges for any company is to attract and retain top talent. In the case of the ACA, we have the unique ability to not just attract, but to directly develop talent from within.

 

We intentionally refer to lead instructors as ‘Engineers in Residence’ (EiR) because they play a key role in designing and developing the platform from within the school itself. This continuous development of code contributes to the meaningful advancement of the platform for future classes.

  

  • Top students offered assistant or Project Manager positions
  • Project Managers will, in turn, be offered EiR positions
  • Virtuous circle helps propel school growth and aids autonomy
  • New academies can be established in other areas

 

Robust Lab Platform

Designed to operate with limited power and connectivity

Classroom lab hardware and software are designed to function independently—with minimal access to the Internet (if necessary) as well as electrical power. All significant online resources and references will be served locally from the instructors’ servers.

Our main server acts as the de facto ‘internet,’ housing the source code repository as well as a library of online references, including copies of standard references like the Mozilla Developer Network, StackOverflow, HTML & CSS References and other online resources.

 

  • Devs contribute and help maintain ACA specific wiki
  • Each Dev receives a low-cost, low-power computer
  • Access to an integrated development environment (IDE)
  • Data synced nightly to the cloud optionally via cellular connection

Robust Lab Platform

Designed to operate with limited power and connectivity

Classroom lab hardware and software are designed to function independently—with minimal access to the Internet (if necessary) as well as electrical power. All significant online resources and references will be served locally from the instructors’ servers.

Our main server acts as the de facto ‘internet,’ housing the source code repository as well as a library of online references, including copies of standard references like the Mozilla Developer Network, StackOverflow, HTML & CSS References and other online resources.

 

  • Devs contribute and help maintain ACA specific wiki
  • Each Dev receives a low-cost, low-power computer
  • Access to an integrated development environment (IDE)
  • Data synced nightly to the cloud optionally via cellular connection

Devs Help Build The Platform

The platform itself is used, developed and improved by students

A fundamental way that the Academy will continue to evolve and improve is to utilize the development platform used by the students. Advanced class projects include various tasks that enhance and improve the software used by Devs.

  • Enhancements to the platform can be proposed by Devs
  • EiRs can decide whether to include enhancements
  • Validate learning key concepts by actually adding to the platform
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Devs Help Build The Platform

The platform itself is used, developed and improved by students

A fundamental way that the Academy will continue to evolve and improve is to utilize the development platform used by the students. Advanced class projects include various tasks that enhance and improve the software used by Devs.

 

  • Enhancements to the platform can be proposed by Devs
  • EiRs can decide whether to include enhancements
  • Validate learning key concepts by actually adding to the platform
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The Next Generation Of Software Development Starts In

africa

Questions? We're here to answer them.

  • What if I’ve never coded before?
  • Will I be able to get a job after I graduate?
  • What if I can’t afford it?
  • What if I don’t have a computer?
  • What if I don't have internet access?