Coping with Egypt's blossoming digital technology scene

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Mon, 07 Jun 2021 - 04:26 GMT

Digital technology – Wikimedia Commons

Digital technology – Wikimedia Commons

CAIRO – 7 June 2021: Hearing the words digitalization, digital transformation and smart cities has been very frequent in the recent years in Egypt. That requires both qualified calibers and entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in the digital technology sector expanding consumers' access to its services.  

 

Hence, Egypt Today sat with Country Launcher of 'GOMYCODE Egypt' Nada Beshir to learn about the skills needed after attending an event it held on how to found a start-up in the tech field.

 

Starting with specializations, Beshir tells Egypt Today, "There are so many specializations for developers. It's really hard to summarize them. But we can say that there are three or four main fields of specialization. Web, Game, Data, and Design."

 

She elaborates that web developers are specialized in back-end, front-end, and FullStack Js. As for video game developers, those are the ones who create video games from scratch. The third area is data science, which revolves around data visualization, Machine Learning, and Big Data. There is finally UX/UI Design, which also requires coding skills. "But there are also many specializations related to development such as business intelligence, cybersecurity, system administration, and embedded systems," Beshir explains.

 

Regarding the necessary skills a developer must possess, GOMYCODE Egypt country launcher says, "There are common skills required to be a developer. You have to be passionate, curious, and patient. Coding is a long journey that requires patience. But the most important thing is that you are able to have problem-solving skills because being a developer requires you to be solution-oriented. There are also technical skills to have, they are the basics but it's not that important because anyone can learn how to, technically, become a developer."

 

 As for what the company offers on that front, Beshir says, "GOMYCODE students have followed modern, practical and stimulating training to prepare them for the reality of the professional world. The working environment in hackerspaces is similar to that of the one in tech companies to help our alumni launch their careers. In addition, we have more than 100 partner companies who recruited our students. We listen to them and improve our programs by their feedback and their needs."

 

"Companies can also improve their team skills by stimulating the productivity, engagement, and collaboration of their employees through training in the areas of Web, DevOps, Data, Digital Marketing, and Design. GOMYCODE's learning methodology allows teams of all sizes to acquire digital expertise and an agile mindset that meets market requirements. We have training for all types of businesses," Beshir adds.

 

The country launcher further notes that the company has different campaigns targeting different ranges of age such as undergrad students, fresh graduates, career shifters, and freelancers. "We also have tracks for kids," Beshir underscores.

 

As for how the company qualifies developers, Beshir explains, "It's a holistic approach, where the focus is on the students' needs. By following our programs, the student develops their technical programming skills but also communication skills, collaborative work, and critical thinking. In addition, the student learns to develop a product in its entirety, until it is published online. It's not about learning a few lines of code but about completing a whole project and being able to be proud of it. Developing a complete product is an important step in the GOMYCODE experience, it is a source of motivation and satisfaction and it remains a memorable experience for most students."

 

As for why GOMYCODE chose to enter the Egyptian market, Beshir explains, "Information and communication technologies currently account for 3.1 percent of the Egypt's GDP. The Egyptian government is looking to double this to about 6 percent by 2025. With strong market conditions, the future for Egyptian IT professionals looks positive. Digital transformation initiatives among government entities and private enterprises as well as a rise in entrepreneurship in the country bode well for the long-term health of the technology job market. For all these reasons, GOMYCODE believes that it can play an important role in the training and acquisition of new technological skills for Egyptians, especially in reskilling."

 

Highlighting the similarities and differences between the Egyptian market and other markets in the region given that GOMYCODE originated in Tunisia, Beshir says, "Every market has its specificities. For example, the scope is not the same in Egypt and in Tunisia. But all countries in the region have common points: A large majority of young people, an important rate of youth unemployment, and a gap that exists between what traditional education and training offers and what the job market requires."

 

The lecture organized by GOMYCODE Egypt was dubbed "Starting a Business in the Tech Field from Zero to One," and was delivered by Series Entrepreneur Mohamed Hassan.

 

Hassan showcased the reasons most start-ups fail, and solutions to avert such outcome. "It is known that among every 10 startups launching, only one remains in the market after a year…One of the reasons is financial as they do not know how to acquire funding…Another reason is the difficulty to find people you can trust without prior knowledge as that prompts founders to resort to relatives and friends, who are not necessarily fit for the role and cause the business to fail…The third reason is high costs…And, the fourth is the inconsistency of revenues varying greatly from a month to another," the entrepreneur explained.

 

As for his recommendations, the entrepreneur said, "You as a founder have to learn about different aspects of the business like HR, legalities, accounting and others…You have also to be a leader by facing crises yourself and not just blame employees. It is normal that employees will make mistakes."

 

Hassan advised founders of start-ups to be patient with their employees reminding them that many individuals, who work for start-ups, do it to learn and get treated in a good way, given they do not get a high payment. He further recommended them to avoid pay cuts and be ready to not make money as business owners sometimes. Otherwise, high employee turnover will occur incurring long-term losses.

 

Speaking of funding, "incubators are the best solution at the very beginning, if there are no other sources of financing. After the start-up begins to attract 2-3 clients, accelerators can invest in the business. Crowd funding can be a solution at the beginning either but it entails some risk," Hassan said.

 

With regard to competition, the series entrepreneur said, "accept that you have competitors and think about what can be your edge. For instance, if you have a start-up specialized in detecting diseases through artificial intelligence (AI), you can focus on neural diseases or eye diseases so you would be serving a certain segment of clients ensuring sustainability."

 

"You have to carry out a lot of tests and ensure there is a market need. If we are to apply this on the aforementioned example, you have to make sure physicians need AI for better accuracy in diagnosis given that the symptoms of several diseases may be similar or that certain diseases are difficult to diagnose using other ways…You should also offer a better quality and a cheaper price," Hassan noted.

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