The Samsung Innovation Campus inspires young up-and-coming programmer

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Up-and-coming software programmer from King Williams Town (Eastern Cape), Khanya Somagaca recently completed the Samsung Innovation Campus (SIC) programme. The SIC seeks to boost youth employment in the technology sector by empowering them with information and communication technology (ICT) and Fourth Industrial Revolution skills, while also encouraging them to consider opportunities as entrepreneurs in information and communications technology.



Just before completing his information technology degree (majoring in programming) at the Walter Sisulu University, 25-year old Somagaca had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the SIC programme, which was where he expanded his IT skills and knowledge.


From being computer illiterate to developing a huge interest and wanting a career in IT, Somagaca never imagined he would be in this field. Part of the reason for this was the fact that during his primary and high school days he did not have access or exposure to computers and video games. His first choice at university was to study law, however due to limited space, he chose IT as an alternative.


This resilient student immediately thought IT and technology could open many doors for him as his passion grew for programming languages like Java, Visual Basic and Python. The idea of creating something from scratch using a few lines of code was incredibly exciting and motivated him to continue learning more about technology.


Somagaca had this to say about his participation in the program. “The Samsung Innovation Campus initiative introduced me to Python, a widely used programming language that will allow me to perform many different operations and thus increase my skill set in information technology. The programme is easy and fun to use and has shaped the way I think about solving problems. It has added real value to my life and encouraged me even more for my chosen career in programming.”


Somagaca and his two cousins were raised by his grandparents and despite his humble beginnings, he plans to make a success of himself and hopefully be able to inspire others and make a positive contribution. He continued to explain that his experience in the SIC programme was amazing and he knew from the moment he found out about it that he wanted to be part of it especially since it was supported by a big technology brand like Samsung.


The company forms strategic partnerships with higher learning institutions to provide this low-volume and high-impact approach programme with courses that include Coding and Programming, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and/or Big Data. To date, Samsung has partnered with Walter Sisulu University in Eastern Cape and, Central University of Technology in Free State. The institutions identified students for the programme and delivered their training and assessment in line with the content provided by the global brand.


Other skills Somagaca gained through the SIC include collaboration, data analysis and critical thinking. “I developed a strong understanding of computer applications such as Microsoft Office. I also gained a better understanding of business processes, how to use technology to come up with solutions to some issues, as well as research and communication skills that will assist me in my professional career,” he added.


Somagaca, who is currently completing an advanced diploma in IT, said over and above the programming skills he learned from his university course, the SIC also played a huge role in enhancing some of those skills. He has learned more practical skills that he is certain will be of great use in the field of work. “The SIC gave me new skills, opened my mind and made me think thoroughly in my work as I go about coming up with great solutions to problems. Thanks to the programme, I’ve learned the value of teamwork and collaboration,” he added.


“This programme has given me the ability to solve complex problems and analyse data from different sources – skills that are vital for any career in today’s digital world. I can use the knowledge and skills that I have to assist organisations become more efficient and productive by improving their existing systems. Technology can be used to create many new jobs and industries, as well as help existing businesses increase productivity or reach more customers, and the SIC massively contributes to that by empowering us the youth,” he concluded.


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