Episode 22

Teaching the Future Open Source Programmers with Ibiam Chihurumnaya


January 24th, 2020

40 mins 50 secs

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About this Episode

Sponsored By:


Eric Berry | Justin Dorfman | Richard Littauer


Ibiam Chihurumnaya
Sugar Labs

Show Notes

00:55 In today’s episode, we have Ibiam Chihurumnaya. He is a developer based in Nigeria. Ibiam works with Sugar Labs where he develops and maintains software for children. Also, as a way of giving back to society, he trains children how to code. So far, they have trained over 800 children. He is here to share with us how he started his programming journey and the wonderful things he is doing for future programmers.

Imagine growing up in a village where every child is expected to either be a lawyer, an engineer or a doctor and anything to do with technology is unheard off. Can you imagine depending on a cyber café for you to learn how to code? Our guest narrates to us how he overcame all that he went through for him to become the great developer he is today.

07:10 How did he start coding? Ibiam was fortunate enough to attend a school that offered coding training. He was lucky enough to grab a chance to attend some of the training, and it created a base for his coding passion.

10:10 The laptop he was using at that time had limited RAM and hard disk space; therefore, he resulted in learning Python. It was not a walk in the park. He had to sacrifice to afford cyber services. For parents who are listening, it is good for you to allow your children to choose what they want to do. Ibiam’s mother supported him to the best of her ability. Our guest started the FOSSFA movement.

15:30 He drew inspiration from a developer in Uruguay who teaches coding as an extra-curricular activity to children between the age of nine and twelve who are interested in coding. The results in Uruguay are amazing. When Ibiam started teaching kids programming in Nigeria, it was not easy for him but the desire to see people who will carry on the coding work once he is not there kept him going. He teaches open-source.

21:09 Ibiam is working with the Nigerian government to help teach the interested children coding as an extra-curricular activity along with other activities like robotics, design and drones classes. The foundation encourages children to be whatever they want to be without necessarily choosing a career in the technology world.

33:06 In Africa, Rwanda is doing an exceptionally good job in encouraging the children to love coding. In the next 10 to 20 years, Ibiam sees Africa as a tech space with collaboration and innovations. Also, he wants to see a lot of engineers in Africa from Africa, still in Africa and working with companies in Africa and outside Africa.



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