While the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) threatens Haiti, the response is slowly being organized. Several countries are implementing strategies to try to curb the impact of the pandemic. Faced with the threat, the public services are fortunately not alone in the race. The private sector is also trying to find solutions to respond to the crisis. The Haitian startups have the opportunity to prove once again their capacity for innovation to respond to the issues that affect the country.
Despite the constraints linked to confinement, the HAAITINUMERIQUE2030 team remains more than ever mobilized alongside you and those of the ecosystem to participate in the challenge of providing solutions to counter the Covid-19. You are surely familiar with these verbs: speaking, writing, counting, reading … They all express actions that have become natural. We learned them very early and we often forget how much they depend on a complex cognitive process acquired over thousands of years. Among these verbs, we can now add this one: code (or program).
In May 2015, Jules Walter and Jonathan Laguerre contacted Carly Baja, from the United States, for the creation of a project intensive computer programming education. Walter, a young Haitian evolving in Sillicon Valley, the bastion of the world of technology, Jonathan who had just completed his first year in the ruthless world of New York finance and Carly, a computer scientist with a good career, founded “Transition Digital “. The goal is to create training, like a “bootcamp”, in programming for young Haitians. The three agreed on an intensive two-month course in Android programming . Codepath, an organization that provides free accelerated mobile engineering courses for professional developers and system designers, was the perfect ally for such a project. To do this, Codepath has adapted its classes to Haitian students. Carly, despite her great expertise in the subject, had to attend classes to properly direct her lessons and master the Codepath interface.
Last year, 11 students out of nearly thirty managed to complete the program and present their end of session project. This year, more than a dozen will cross the finish line.
This alliance between Digital Transition and Codepath has proven to be efficient and sustainable over the first two sessions. Now the goal is to expand the program and make it accessible to more students and young professionals. For his part, Carly Baja, the head of the Bootcamp in Haiti, is very satisfied with the results they have been able to obtain so far. He concedes, however, that their room for improvement is quite large and that, on the side of the initiators of the program, it will be necessary to redouble their efforts in order to make the program accessible to a larger number of young Haitians.
Understanding computer language will become as important in the future as reading or counting, predict several leaders in the field. Already in several avant-garde schools scattered in certain countries, children are very familiar with the programming very early on. While waiting for the world to get in tune with this universal language, there is a high demand for qualified programmers that is not yet satisfied. Large technology multinationals import talent from around the world and export work to coders around the world. Countries like India, China, Ghana have supported these new forms of knowledge export. Why not Haiti? This bootcamp from Digital Transition should be an educational model to follow. It can create a new economy in Haiti that would focus on exporting know-how that the world badly needs. From Google to Facebook and even the smallest firms, coders represent a rare and sought-after species. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explained Facebook’s policy with regard to this programmer deficit in the market in these words: “Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren't enough people who are trained and have these skills today. “
In addition to the national market which will grow at an exponential speed, there is the world which needs coder and with the magic of the Internet, the Haitian coders will be able to work everywhere in the world.
” Haiti has untapped talent, even though companies around the world are looking for skilled engineers. Here we find talented people, Few people think of my country when it comes to developers of software, Think again – You ! ” dixit Henry Beaucejour, President of the HAITINUMERIQUE2030 movement
However, it is important for the government to create a fund to help young coders develop applications to solve the glaring problems of society.
If we have to spend more time to telecommute and move away from public spaces in Haiti, it is our responsibility to have platforms and computer applications as reliable and secure as possible.
Source: Ayibopost, https: / /cio-mag.com/covid19/, https://www.idrc.ca/sites/default/files/openebooks/562-6/index.html[19659019twentyCommentsComments19659020]