Ndamulelo Namadzavho had always wanted to build something important that would help South African youth by improving their access to education and learning resources. There was just one thing standing in the way of his making his passion a reality: he needed the skills to create his vision.
He decided to join a HyperionDev software engineer bootcamp, where he hoped to learn how to build his own software, so that he could turn his edtech dream into a reality. On his on-site full-time Software Engineer bootcamp, Ndamulelo was thrust into an intensive learning environment that taught him critical, practical developer skills at an incredibly fast pace. Through hard work and determination, Ndamulelo graduated from our bootcamp in well under three months, built his own app, and founded his education start-up, ClassApp. Now, Ndamulelo helps hundreds of students to improve their school marks – a long-time passion which he hopes to grow into helping millions of students pass school with the best grades possible.
We asked him about his HyperionDev coding bootcamp experience, and what it taught him on the path to creating his own tech start-up.
Tell us about the app you developed using the skills you learned on your bootcamp. What does it do?
It’s called ClassApp. I developed it as an E-learning system that helps learners at highschool to improve their results. We offer grade 12s educational resources (like video lessons and previous exam papers) and task assessment to improve their marks.
Where did you get the idea to start your own tech company and create ClassApp?
There are lots of problems with our education system, and I think one of the biggest ones is mentorship. Kids respond very well to teachers who care, teachers they like. I asked my favourite teacher at school, “How can we make sure that every student in the country gets taught by you?”. ClassApp was the answer. I think I’ve always known I wanted to make ClassApp. HyperionDev taught me how to make it myself.
I think a lot of people get distracted because they want to go for a job working for someone else. But if you have these skills, you can do whatever you want. With just a laptop and an internet connection you can really achieve anything – and that’s what made me take the leap with my passion in ClassApp.
What did you do before your HyperionDev bootcamp and starting ClassApp?
Before my HyperionDev bootcamp I was studying software development at TUT. For me, there was too much focus on hardware on my program than I wanted. I knew what I wanted to do: I wanted to develop and build things that help people. I knew I wanted to make ClassApp happen. But I needed hard skills for software engineering to create the app. I found out about HyperionDev, spoke to an Admissions Consultant, and started my bootcamp. I haven’t looked back since!
Where do you see ClassApp going? How do you hope it will change the world?
I’m aiming for 100,000 students in 2 years, but my main goal is to prove to people that this works. We are currently assisting around 107 Matrics, mostly science students. First and foremost, I want to improve learners’ immediate results. I want to improve Grade 12 results – but the way you do that is by starting at the very beginning with Grade 8.
In ClassApp’s future I see it being a platform that makes education easier for everyone. It will be a platform that has all the things students need in their education. In the future, I want students to be able to find tutors, study programs, university courses, scholarships and bursaries – and even teaching or tutoring jobs – all through one single platform.
How did your HyperionDev bootcamp prepare you to start your own company and build your own app?
On my HyperionDev coding bootcamp, I learned three important things.
- First, I learned discipline. You’ve got to work consistently on your goals. You can do anything, but no one will do the work for you. You need to take advantage of your opportunities.
- Second, I learned the importance of taking initiative. Do research and plan. Go for what you want.
- Third, HyperionDev taught me all the actual practical coding skills I needed to make ClassApp a reality. I learnt Python, Java, and Machine Learning on my bootcamp, and these were key skills necessary for programming and developing ClassApp.
However, I think the greatest lesson my HyperionDev bootcamp taught me, at the end of it all, is that all you need in life is a computer and an internet connection, and the skills to use them. If you have those things, you can achieve anything.
Tell us about your experiences with mentorship on your HyperionDev bootcamp. What was it like?
You took your bootcamp on our HyperionDev campus in Joburg. Tell us what was it like to learn on campus?
It was an amazing experience. I would advise anyone to work and learn on a bootcamp on-site. It’s so fantastic because you’re in the thick of it. You can get help from your mentor and your classmates. As a developer, there are times you feel lost – maybe your code doesn’t work or it’s too long – you feel alone. But working among other developers, you realise others struggle, and you can learn from them and get help with your problems.
It’s also a competitive, collaborative environment. It pushes you to write better code and be a better developer.
How did learning to code on a full-time HyperionDev bootcamp fit your life and goals?
Learning full-time was perfect for me, because I was focused entirely on learning the skills I needed to build ClassApp. The bootcamp was supposed to be 3 months full-time, and I finished it in a month – and then did some extra work on the side with other students, learning other technologies. My bootcamp was this intensive learning environment. You’re learning but you don’t feel like you’re bored at school. You’re playing as much as you’re working: you’re learning real skills, with people who share your vision.
What is your advice to people who are thinking about taking a coding bootcamp?
Go for it. Not only will you get the experience of learning, you also get the chance to build connections with other people in the industry. It’s the best pace to find people that you can collaborate with. It’s full of people who are ambitious and are working constantly to get what they want. You find other people who want to build stuff, and who give you valuable advice from all kinds of industries and backgrounds.
So I say to people, “Figure out what you want and go for it”. Focus on goals, take all the energy that you have and focus on getting what you want.
Do you have a dream, passion, or amazing tech idea, and want to learn the skills you need to make it a reality? Our bootcamps focus on making your goals and ambitions happen, through practical skills development, expert review of your code, and constant 1-on-1 mentorship that guides you as you learn to code.
With our mentor-led online and on-site bootcamps, you can learn the practical programming skills you need to work with complex data, create beautiful and functional websites, or make professional applications and software like Ndamulelo’s ClassApp. With our proven learning structure, you’ll graduate with job-ready tech skills to do what you’ve been dreaming of in just months, rather than years.
Apply for your seat on a HyperionDev coding bootcamp in just minutes here.