Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with the Kenya ICT Board, has prepared a pilot exam to be sat next week by developers, offering them a chance to prove their abilities meet international standards in addition to a certification award from a world-renowned institution.
It will be the first exam to identify the world’s top notch developers as many innovators remain without papers, with only their work to speak for them.
The exam is welcome news to employers as they will now be able to judge candidates for respective jobs based on internationally recognised credentials.
“As reliable software becomes ever more crucial to commerce and industry, companies are demanding better ways to identify potential employees with the skills necessary for building and maintaining software,” Mark S. Kamlet, Carnegie Mellon executive vice president, said during the launch of the partnership.
The exam is also expected to provide Kenya with details of the ability of a number of developers, as the country launches Konza Tech City. The smart city on the outskirts of Nairobi will host global IT giants, hence the need to have certified developers that meet international standards to provide much-needed human resources.
“Kenya is emerging as the epicentre for ICT innovations and a software development hub. We want to lead from the front and be the technology partner of choice on the African continent,” Information and Communications ministry PS Bitange Ndemo said earlier this year.
According to the Kenya ICT Board, the exam will take place at the University of Nairobi’s school of computing and informatics and will test an individual’s ability to perform tasks that developers routinely encounter on the job.
The six-hour exam will also have the exam-takers write, compile, debug and test real software to demonstrate their abilities in a secure, proctored exam targeted at ‘exposing candidates to the actual environment’.
The board adds that the exam will further prove to the world that the country has qualified developers of international standards.
The final exam is expected to be ready by late 2013.