Twipe embarked on a journey of collaboration this summer with HackYourFuture, the coding school for refugees in Belgium.
We are very honoured and proud that we have had the opportunity to help HackYourFuture and four students in their personal development.Danny Lein, CEO at Twipe
The first class for HackYourFuture Belgium was launched in May 2018 with the aim of enabling refugees and migrants from vulnerable backgrounds to build digital skills for a career in web development, facilitate the integration of newcomers, and address the shortage of a qualified workforce in the IT sector. Over the 7-month programme, students learn the necessary skills for a career in software development. More than 160 students from 35+ different countries have participated in this programme.
At Twipe we have wanted to collaborate with HackYourFuture for a while but had not yet had the right occasion as there was no centralized database of alumni we could contact. So it was a great fit for the first collaboration to be a project focused on developing an alumni database for potential employers to find candidates from Hack Your Future.
As part of the Open Summer of Code four alumni from Hack Your Future took on the challenge of building a website from scratch with a database of the programme’s alumni, under the guidance of coach Hannes D’Hulster, and a team from Twipe. Part of the team from Twipe served as the client, giving practical input on what would be expected from this website, while the other part of the team served as technical advisors, answering development questions and giving advice.
Through this project, team members were able to gain real world experience and put their studies to the test. This experience helped the students to gain confidence in their abilities, with team member Yavuz Uğurtaş explaining:
After participating in the bootcamp, I feel more confident about what I want and what I can achieve. The bootcamp was a great opportunity to find myself.Yavuz Uğurtaş, HackYourFuture Alumni
The project also served as a learning experience for the Twipees involved as well. Business analyst Mathieu Thys and other software engineers including Tobie Devries led the weekly retrospectives which served as a great reminder of the fundamentals of coding.
The project was showcased at the Open Summer of Code Demo Day in July, alongside 82 other projects. Team member Rahime Yildiz presented the project to more than 300 participants.
She was joined by fellow team member Berihu Gebremedhin to share the project with the entire team of Twipe in a weekly meeting as well. In this session, Twipees were able to ask questions about the collaboration, and even get advice on how to get started in coding for the non-technical team members. Mert Demirok rounded out the HackYourFuture team.
This session also served as an opportunity for all team members to reflect on their partnership and the collaborative experience they shared. Manon Brulard, HackYourFuture Belgium co-founder, thanked the whole team for their collaboration:
Having this bootcamp in partnership with Twipe was an amazing experience for the students and staff. It is important for companies to be able to support our work this way. It was very useful to have an external force to give feedback to the team and move us forward.Manon Brulard, HackYourFuture Belgium co-founder
Going forward some HackYourFuture team members will continue to fine-tune the website for alumni. The team at Twipe looks forward to being able to use this database the next time they have a technical intern to hire, as a next step in the collaboration between Twipe and HackYourFuture.
Partnering with HackYourFuture was a great energizer for our team. We are proud to have served as a small step in the professional development journey of the alumni. Our team can wholeheartedly recommend collaboration with HackYourFuture for other organisations and companies.Mary-Katharine Phillips, Team Lead Business Development at Twipe
To get involved in HackYourFuture Belgium’s mission, you can hire alumni, become a coach or a mentor, or reach out to the team for other collaboration opportunities.