Code Red: Why Kenyans Must Embrace the Future in Coding

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Kenya is Africa’s leading country where internet access and connectivity are concerned. It is fitting, then, that it was ranked the fastest in internet connectivity speed in both Africa and the Middle East by Akamai. The 2017 Akamai State of the Internet Report sampled 108 countries across the globe and established that the average connectivity speed in Kenya was 15 Mbps (megabits per second).

The high uptake of smartphones in the country has undoubtedly lead to a more technologically savvy population. More than 90 percent of Kenyans reportedly access the Internet through smartphones and mobile phones that are getting increasingly cheaper. And as Kenyans enjoy the variety of ways they can now interact and communicate with one another, perhaps it is time the thousands who are unemployed looked to technology for jobs.

At the heart of the numerous betting platforms that have flooded the market locally, for instance, is software. Programmers write the code that allows you to place a bet on a team all the way to that which facilitates the mpesa transfer of your winnings to your device. It is not just here. More and more devices today are getting interconnected.

This presents numerous opportunities for those who are ready and willing to engage in coding. A job market analytics company called Burning Glass found that programming jobs are growing 12 percent faster than the market average. Interestingly, it is not just businesses that are in the technology sector who rely on computer code.

Coding skills, which involve the use of a computer program to write instructions to a computer instead of using established apps, were shown to be in high demand in finance, health care, and manufacturing. At a time when repetitive jobs are becoming more automated, leaving hundreds jobless, learning skills that are in demand means that one is afforded various options. You could go for employment, be an entrepreneur, or become a coder for life.

And if learning how to code or becoming a programmer holds no appeal to you, take heart. While it is easy, important, makes you employable, and definitely is the future, you could always opt to learn how to work with technology. In essence, if you are able to leverage tech to make your job get better, then you are all set. Yes, technology changes, as does the means of accessing it. But the bottom line is that one must learn how to implement it strategically.

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