• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Microsoft, Sidmach deepen IT skills with fresh AppFactory graduates

AppFactory graduates

After nine months of intensive training, Microsoft and Sidmach Technologies have graduated nearly 20 software developers and Information Technology (IT) professionals who have completed the App Factory programme.

AppFactory is one of many Microsoft programmes geared towards equipping Africans with the right tools, knowledge and resources to foster solutions development through technology.

The programme which commenced in February and ended in October this year had selected participants trained in various software development tools to equip them with tech skills so that they can be employable in the tech space.

The graduates were selected after a prequalification programme was conducted through a portal where they were taught the basic Microsoft tools such as Word, Excel and the rest.

Playing the executor’s role in the partnership, Sidmach Technologies and Microsoft jointly invest and enrol some of the brightest graduates from Universities across Nigeria and take them on a nine-month intensive training to develop and sharpen their skills in various aspects of software development.

“Weare proud of our investments in them as well as what they have become,” Chijioke Eke, managing director, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited said.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony held recently in Lagos, Eke said Sidmach was “buoyed” by the projects they have accomplished in the course of the training, adding that some of them would be hitting the “market soon.”

“It gives me great pleasure to be part of this journey of grooming this select group of software developers and information technology experts to be part of Nigeria’s sure-footed steps on the digital transformation journey. I see the future in them,” the MD said.

He explained to BusinessDay that given the deficit of skilled professionals in the ICT clime, there was a need to build an ecosystem of young professionals who are bright and visionary to help solve Nigeria’s problems with technology.

“I think that from a skills perspective, while there is a huge gap, there are quite a few people and young people who have world-class digital and technology skills, and I think those are the people who are driving new paradigms –whether we’re looking at the Fintech space, the logistics space or whether we’re looking at people providing global services from their local environment, that potential is there,” Soromfe Uzomah, Head, Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft said.

Also, Uzomah asserted that the potential was huge for Nigeria, especially from a population perspective.

“If we can solve the skills gap, then there is also the chance that out-source services will begin to move this way especially because we have some geographical advantages. I think the future is really exciting for us,” he said.

At the ceremony, the graduates presented products that address problems in business, agriculture, and the National Youth Service Corps, (NYSC).
“We had hands-on experience. During the nine months, we did a lot of life-changing products such as NYSC engage, BISKITS (Business Kit), the e-Agric 360, which caters for farmers verification, and everything that relates to the Agric sector,” Henry Ekwonwa, a participant, said.

Ekwonwa described the programme as fulfilling, in line with his career and a stepping stone to becoming an IT solutions expert in Nigeria.

“It is everything to me as regards my career as a software developer. It is where I have gotten confidence as a software developer, I’ve learnt about industry standards in product development, and everything that entails developing a product in the right way, this is where I’ve gotten it from,” he further said.

The object of the initiative is to give young people (potentially even fresh graduates) practical digital skills that they can take straightaway into the market place and get jobs, and as they held their certificates amid big grins, it was clear that aim was achieved.