November 27th, 2019 by inflectra
In 2018, the Buenos Aires City Government (GCBA) and Codo a Codo partnered with Inflectra in a formal training program that teaches the fundamentals of software testing to high-school students from city's disadvantaged neighborhoods. This month, Adam Sandman, our technical director was honored to attend the inaugural awards ceremony. and hand out the diplomas to the graduating class. In this article we discuss why this program is so important and how we'd like to help other communities around the world in a similar manner.
In August 2016, the Government of Argentina launched the 111 Mil program in collaboration with the private sector, to develop an unprecedented 100,000 programmers, 10,000 IT professionals, and 1,000 entrepreneurs in four years.
Building on the experience of this initiative, the City of Buenos Aires launched the Codo a Codo ("hand in hand") program in 2018 to give a helping hand to students from disadvantaged backgrounds to get the skills to compete in the modern economy.
This initiative was developed by the Ministry of Education and Innovation of the City of Buenos Aires to train students in the arts of programming and software testing and thus be able to join the most innovative companies in the technology sector or develop their own startups as entrepreneurs.
The courses are available in both virtual and classroom formats and have a duration of two four-month periods. For the software testing course, the students had to complete three modules:
The focus of the program is helping high school students and unskilled workers from the shanty-towns and other less economically connected parts of the city to get the skills and training to move into high technology skilled professions.
After graduation, the majority of program graduates will discontinue their formal education in order to secure employment, thus making Inflectra’s partnership with Codo a Codo a key to program participants’ success on the job market.
A former customer of ours - Jorge Ambrosio Fernandez - was instrumental in setting up the program, he reached out to Inflectra to see if we'd be able to provide free licenses and hosting of our products for use by the program.
Since one of our company Core Values is "Second Acts" - we are always looking for ways to give opportunities to people, and this program seemed like the perfect opportunity to help out in a meaningful way, and make a difference. Inflectra provided (and continues to provide) the software and hosting for the tools used to run the classroom.
So one year later, as part of the celebration of the first graduating class from the program, Inflectra was invited to attend the ceremony, meet the students, present the diplomas and learn more about how the program is transforming people's lives and opportunities.
The team from Inflectra was honored to be given a tour of some of the communities benefiting from Codo a Codo. For example, Villa 31 is one of the largest and most visible slums in Argentina with the population growing significantly in recent decades.
The Barrio 31 initiative developed by the Buenos Aires city government uses an integrated approach that seeks to reduce poverty, improve the quality of life for residents and simultaneously lead the way for housing and urban change throughout Argentina. The strategy includes structural and impact measures to guarantee social, educational, health, economic and cultural rights of the population through participative and social work support strategies. In addition to the creation and improvement of infrastructure and equipment, an equally important part has been the use of programs such as Codo a Codo to bring training and job skills directly to the people who need them most.
(photos from two Codo a Codo training centers visited by Inflectra)
The highlight of our visit was to attend the awards ceremony. The ceremony was held in the Universidad del Museo Social Argentino (UMSA) building in central Buenos Aires and was a wonderful occasion for the graduates, their families, and the program staff to celebrate their achievement.
Adam Sandman, our Director of Technology was present to award the diplomas to the students and give a commencement speech highlighting how far the students have come, how their hard work has paid off, and how they now need to give back to the program.
After the formal presentation, Adam and Jorge had an opportunity to meet with the teachers and staff running the program. We received some cool Codo a Codo swag to bring home to the office.
In this photograph, you can see the entire graduating class. Approximately 100 students received their diplomas that day, certifying that they had passed the examinations and tests for being a software tester, automation engineer, and performance tester. Each of the students had passed all three course modules, and many of them already had their first job, working at companies such as IBM, Accenture.
Several of the students came up to us and let us know that this program had changed their life, they had gone from being hourly workers in the informal economy, to being the next generation of software engineers and testers. They had taken the opportunity presented to them, and reached for a better life for themselves and their families.
After the ceremony was over, Adam met with Javier Tarulla (Assistant Secretary of Teaching Career and Professional Technical Training) and Facundo Durand (the Coordinator of the Program) after the event to discuss the program, how it has succeeded, ways to improve its outcomes, and how it can be expanded in the future.
In addition, Adam was interviewed and asked to send a message about the program, and give a message to current and future students:
So, now that you have read about the success of the program, you may be asking yourself - what can I do to help similar students in my community?
We'd like to introduce the Inflectra Global Technology Initiative - empowering teachers, students and communities around the world to get a helping hand and become part of the technology economy.
If you are interested in setting up a program such as Codo a Codo in your community, or if you are already working with students in a community college, vocational school or other establishment of opportunity, please reach out to us and we can provide you with free licenses (and hosting) of our SpiraPlan platform and our other tools for software testing and development. We can also provide free training and enablement for getting your own program up and running. We can also put you in touch with our colleagues at Codo a Codo who can share lessons learned and best practices.
So remember.... Give Someone a Helping Hand Today!