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Sparkplugnow is teaching Nigerians How to Code without using conventional computers

by Milicent Atieno

The act of writing computer programs, otherwise popularly known as coding, is almost often done using computers. Well, computers in their various forms of shapes and sizes as modern technology advancements would accord. People use desktop computers, laptops, and perhaps even the 2-in-1 laptops.

However, it is quite rare to find a computer program written without the use of an actual computer. Though it does sounds quite liberating given the fact that to some, the cost of owning a computer proves out of reach. It is still quite a tall order to accomplish.

Nigeria is one of those countries with a relatively good internet penetration; with about 53% of the people having access to the internet. However, the number of people owning personal computers is a now where near the number with access to the internet. That only means that most Nigerians are consumers of digital and online material.

To become producers to some of these digital and online materials, then they must master the art of computer programs coding. That means they need to learn how to code, but how do they overcome the challenge of not owning computers?

Well, Sparkplugnow has a simple solution to that challenge. It wants to train Nigerians how to code without necessarily having to own a computer. So how does it intend to do that? By crowdfunding.

Sparkplugnow has embarked on a mission of collecting old computer from well-wishers; probably owners with old computers they no longer use. Such well-wishers send the old computers to Sparkplugnow, who then wipe out all data on the computer and install a new operating system, the Linux-based Ubuntu 16.04.

Sparkplugnow then loads complete Sparkplug Curriculum that includes videos and tutorials on coding and software engineering. Prospect students who want to learn how to code then have to apply giving reasons why they want a laptop given to them. The prospect student application must convince Sparkplugnow that they will put the computer to good use; learning software development skills to develop solutions to their socio-economic challenges.

Students with the best ideas are selected and enrolled into the program. They will be given laptops loaded with coding curriculum on topics such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React.js, Node.js, Database & Modeling, and Automated Testing.

Sparkplugnow does not finish its job by simply passing on the laptops loaded with coding learning materials. They periodically measure and monitor the progress of the student over a regular period of time.

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