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Digital Inclusion

Cracking the code

For the graduates of UK-based non-profit organization CodeYourFuture (CYF), the program is an opportunity to find work in the tech industry – and make their goals come true.

Through our partnership with CodeYourFuture (CYF), we are helping to train people from disadvantaged background to become web developers, and find work in the tech industry.

CYF students are trained in full-stack web development by volunteers from the tech industry, putting a strong emphasis on collaboration and product development through tech projects. They learn coding languages, and build applications for their professional portfolios – but also practice their presentation and interview skills.

For our Capgemini volunteers, it’s a great way to take a step towards closing the digital divide.

A life-changing moment for students

The team behind Code Your Future have a clear goal in mind: to help people with the potential to become web developers but who lack the opportunities to do so, to launch a new career in coding. 
Madiha Khan, who came to the UK from Pakistan in 2006, was one of those people. For her, being accepted onto the course was a life-changing moment. 

“Before I started CodeYourFuture, I was struggling financially,”’ she says. “Although I had a technical background in Pakistan, I’d been away from the industry for a long time, and couldn’t find a way to pursue a career in coding. When I came across CodeYourFuture, I realized it could be my chance.”

Madiha worked hard to complete the entry tests, and was delighted to be accepted for the course in 2019. “When I was told I could join the program, the feeling was amazing. I didn’t believe that something like CodeYourFuture could exist. They understood my passion for coding, and knew how to make my dream come true.”

From CYF to Capgemini

The course takes place every Sunday for eight months at CYF’s offices in London, and requires around 30 hours of self-directed learning each week from the students.

“At times I found it difficult,” admits Madiha. “I was working part-time, and had my hands full looking after my two boys. But I told myself that I wouldn’t get this chance again, so I burnt the midnight oil and pushed myself through it.”

“The support we got from the Capgemini volunteers was incredible,” says Madiha. “They help you all the way, and give lots of their own time. Their support really motivated me to complete the course because I didn’t want to let them down.”

Since completing the course, Madha has joined Capgemini. The skills she learnt – and in particular how to approach new projects – have proved to be invaluable in her current work. “Rather than holding my hand, my manager has pushed me. It’s been challenging, but I’ve been able to really apply what I Iearnt.”

Now, Madiha is giving something back to the program that was so important for her. “I’m a mentor for some of the new students, and I’m responsible for making sure they’re supported. It’s a fantastic feeling to be helping someone change their life the way I was helped to change mine.”

A win-win partnership

Sally Caughey, UK head of digital inclusion at Capgemini, was responsible for setting up the program with CodeYourFuture. 

“Throughout this partnership, we’ve learned a lot about the true meaning of diversity,” she says. “I feel so proud when I see our students full of confidence, and ready to start their careers. It’s also very satisfying to see recent graduates like Madiha passing on their knowledge and experience by mentoring the next wave of students. Our Capgemini volunteers are really passionate about what they do, because they get so much out of helping the students develop.”

Crossing the digital divide with our volunteers

One of those volunteers is Sanyia Saidova, enterprise architect at Capgemini, who was keen to participate in order to address the digital divide in society. “I signed up as a mentor because I fully support Capgemini’s ambition to ensure that advances in technology are inclusive,” she says. 

“I wanted to participate to gain a better understanding of the digital divide, and help reduce it. I know that businesses, communities, and individuals can all benefit, especially as society moves closer to automation. And, as well as supporting my mentee in helping her find work and reach her goals, I’m learning a lot about how I can improve myself, too.”

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