Building IT talent

The Capricorn Group recently partnered with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) to host the #CGNUSTHackathon2023.
The competition, which took place from 16 to 18 February 2023, engaged teams for 48 hours, during which future software developers tested their skills to build a functional and innovative single-page application (SPA).
The proposed challenge proved to be very intense. The purpose of the competition was to proactively engage future talent and prepare technology university students for the job market, as future developers, engineers, data engineers, data scientists, and other specialised professions. It also proved valuable to the students in introducing them to a corporate environment and the expectations they might be exposed to once they start a career.
The Hackathon engaged 49 registered participants, with 14 teams comprising second and third-year NUST students. The Hackathon tested their coding, application use, teamwork, group synergy, leadership attributes and the presentation of a robust final product.
With great prizes up for grabs, team Phoenix scooped first place, winning Samsung Galaxy A7 Lite tablets and a “Day in the Life” of a Capricorn Group IT employee. The Phoenix team members are Lesheni Ronia Ndjuluwa (Informatics), Tinomudaishe Ndhlovu (Computer Science), Jean Claude Nsabimana (Informatics) and Mario Tetrianu (Computer Science).
“We believe that Namibia has talent,” said Dr Etienne Slabbert, Group Chief Information Officer. “As a corporate entity, we also have a responsibility to invest in this talent to ensure that our industries produce the best in the market.
“We wanted to take a proactive approach to get in touch with who is in the Namibian talent pool and pursue dialogue between organisations to identify possible future collaborative opportunities. This is Capricorn Group IT’s first Hackathon.”
The Acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science & Informatics at NUST, Professor Fungai Bhunu Shava, expressed her gratitude to Capricorn Group for supporting the students.
“The long-term benefits of this collaboration are worth the effort from both parties, as students are looking into a real-world problem brought about by subject matter experts while also getting a feel for the work culture. Moreover, the competition has afforded participants something to look forward to and work towards,” she added.
Seeking solutions
The competition was judged by a panel of six judges, of which one worked very closely with the teams to guide and coach them to a solution. The sessions were filled with excitement, anticipation and nerves since teams had only 48 hours to create their timesheets displaying an SPA where people can log the time worked on a project.
“The event was educational and it allowed us as students to showcase our skills to the corporate world. At the same time, we gained skills and knowledge about IT and saw how much we need to learn outside of tertiary education to be ready for a career,” said Tinomudaishe Ndhlovu from the winning team, Phoenix.
The second prize winners received Capricorn Group branded item hampers and a breakfast with the Senior Leadership of the Information Technology Team, while the third prize winners received Capricorn Group branded item hampers.