SABC News - Learning the language of code:Monday 24 July 2017

Learning the language of code

Monday 24 July 2017 16:23

Nina Oosthuizen

Learners graduate after completing an in-depth coding course through CodeSpace Academy.

Learners graduate after completing an in-depth coding course through CodeSpace Academy.(Zulé Vuuren)

There are major benefits of learning how to code in a world where the development of new technology is ever on the increase.

Learning how to code empowers you to do many things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps, and websites and a lot of time is required behind a computer with Internet access.

Despite having none of this, Kholiswa Ntshinga, completed an in-depth coding course through CodeSpace Academy in July.

It was not an easy journey as she faced the challenges of not having the equipment and resources to study and practise her homework. That however, did not stop this exceptional young woman.

“Whenever we were given homework to code, I would write it in my book with a pen and paper. Of course you wouldn’t know if it would work or not but I would come to class early and see if it worked. That’s how I completed the course.”


Clint Clark, Founder of CodeSpace, explains that Ntshinga joined the CodeSpace Academy from their high school programme Code4CT. Code4CT is an initiative which aims to create a future where young women are able to define the technology that we use every day.

“Kholiswa is a super intelligent girl who really impressed us. She worked very hard, put in countless hours behind-the-scenes, gets to class early and leaves late. She is someone who has pushed through difficult situation circumstance and really proves that if you have enough grit and determination you can really do anything you put your mind to.”


Nathan Banda, Code Instructor at the CodeSpace Academy says that it is their goal to drive their students into research so that they are empowered beyond the classroom and are able to know how to code and learn from themselves.

“If you really want something to happen, you work for it, like what Kholiswa did. She had to take the initiative to come out of her shell, saying this is what I want; I want to get out of this pit I am in. In order for you to get out of a situation you need to do something about it, that’s the kind of motivation I would give to students out there.“

Founder of CodeSpace, Clint Clark, assists a learner during class. Photo by Nina Oosthuizen.

The unfortunate and fortunate part of coding is that it changes every 6 months. Therefor the CodeSpace Academy offers a unique course which mimics a real life working experience as Clark explains.

“As a student we can’t just give them a content dump of what you’ve got to learn and then that’s it, go work. We have to equip them to be adaptive and continual learners. From early on in the course we teach them to actually teach themselves, so the only way to facilitate that is to teach them the principals and then set them along on their own learning journey.”

20-year-old Kevin Mbuisha, a fellow student alongside Ntshinga, says that he finds coding intriguing.

“I am hoping to get into entrepreneurship with it. I want to help others with code. There are not many people who know about technology. They just need to be linked up with the right people and equipment and I’m hoping I can help them in the future.”

Kevin Mbuisha being interviewed by SABC Digital News at the CodeSpace Academy. Photo by Zulé Vuuren.

Mbuisha says that if you’re interested in it, you should try it, even if you find maths difficult.

“If you just put your mind to it, you can achieve it. I’m not good at maths but over time with some hard work, it started to become really interesting for me. It’s something which tests your brain, you end up wanting to find out more and more and then you can’t stop.”

Enodie Moboni is fresh out of school and explains that from a young age he always wanted to know what makes the programs run on computers.

“Coding is basically a different language which you learn. There are different fields in which you can use it and you get different coding languages to learn. It’s something I prefer to do because in this world technology is ever-evolving so it’s great to learn coding.“

Kholiswa Ntshinga hard at work in class at the CodeSpace Academy. Photo by Zulé Vuuren.

Clark says that if you want something in the life you must be proactive and go after it to make it happen.

“If you’ve got a desire or dream for knowledge I’d say go for it, don’t wait for someone to give you an opportunity rather go out and find it yourself. The most important skill you are going to have in the 21st century is the ability to know where you are in life, understand what you need to know and what you still need to learn.  

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