Software is nothing without education. In the absence of capacity building, where is software development? Capable software developers are required to produce software product and services that meet international standards, using global best practices.
However, even though software comes with low physical entry barriers and high local value-added, making it a significant leapfrog opportunity will not happen without knowledge. Software development will not happen simply out of desire. “I want to be a software programmer” is good but not enough. Education is the first step to achieving success and making impact in software development. The software development potential exists in many Nigerians. And it does not discriminate. There are no tribal marks – all it requires are interest and commitment. But potential is nothing until is brought out and harnessed by education.
Talk does not deliver until Nigerians are empowered to participate in software and IT development. There is a need for such software development educational programs to be created and run to develop capacity in software development in Nigeria. Indeed critical plan actions and programmes in Nigeria’s ICT4D plan to promote capacity building in Software development emphasize the need to make software education a priority. In particular the Software Development programme initiative within the ICT4 plan has a relevant plan action titled, “Capacity building for Software development”.
Apart from Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), leading professional and regulatory organizations including the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Computer Professionals Registration Council Of Nigeria (CPN) and the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the home of Nigeria’s IT community also advocate the need to ensure education in software development is a priority in Nigeria.
Actual content for software education is also important. Content must be relevant and backed up with practice. Outdated topics serve no useful other than the historical. A relevant empowerment initiative created with input from the software and certification industry in line with software knowledge and skills needs is Jidaw’s Annual Software development capacity building program which entails courses on Web Design, Programming basics and Web Development Basics (run in the months of August, September and October 2011) and the Web Design and Entrepreneur Fundamentals in 2013. The need for capabilities to solve real-world software development problems and deliver fast, reliable applications is both real and massive.
Software development capacity is properly harnessed delivers important competitive advantage.
Jidaw asks: What is your take on software education? Share your ideas and opinions.
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT at Jidaw
ICT Development Advisory Support and Consulting