A number of Kenyan developers have sat the first World Software Certification pilot exam, necessitated by increased employment of expatriate software developers by multinational corporations opening offices in Kenya.
According to Dr. Philip Miller of Carnegie Mellon University, the Chipuka certification exam tests developers for the skills necessary to staff companies setting shop in East Africa.
“With such a global qualification in place then it becomes easy for both local and multinationals to identify the right resources for the job and identify regions to invest in. This also gives Kenya the edge in marketing these skills in pursuit of the African ICT hub title”, Miller said.
Those who sat for the 6-hour test were examined on their ability towrite, compile, debug and test real software. The exam results are expected to be out in 6 months, when the university will determine the need for another pilot, ahead of the final exam set to be spread across the world in October 2013.
In the ongoing job recruitment by technology firm IBM, which has opened its research lab in Kenya, the company says it is targeting African techies in the Diaspora seeking to return to Africa and develop IT solutions.
In November, Business Daily reported that it had gained access to a circular by the company that was copied to international universities, perhaps an indication of a lack of faith in local certifications.
“We need Africans with the right skill who are willing to come back to the continent and make an impact. We are looking for candidates who have an outstanding human/computer interaction background and research scientists who will help us to realize our smarter planet agenda in Africa,” IBM said, in a circular copied to Stanford University.