HyperionDev graduate

Meet Our Mentors: Alfred, Kirsten, and Darren – From HyperionDev Graduates to HyperionDev Coding Mentors

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Mentoring programmes have a huge impact on learning outcomes and are seen as one of the best paths to success among tech learners. The reasons are that one-on-one mentors are able to guide and facilitate learning while keeping students engaged. They can fast-track learning and act as experts by their side. 

Meet three of our top coding mentors based in Johannesburg, and see how they make all the difference to the HyperionDev learning experience. 

Alfred Ndlovu – From Legal Intern to Data Scientist and Mentor

Alfred Ndlovu was studying law at UNISA and, as a side project, was involved in creating an app that would allow SMEs to draft, manage, and review contracts. It was during this time that he stumbled upon our scholarship offer for people who had an idea for the next great thing in tech, and he was accepted into our Data Science Bootcamp, which he studied online, full-time. Incidentally, Alfred pitched his legal app idea, called Profred, to BeChangeMaker Africa while he was enrolled in his bootcamp. And out of 500 startup companies that applied, his team made it to the top five. 

Before becoming a HyperionDev mentor, Alfred worked as a legal intern and was involved in building legal chatbots that would help people understand the law better. Signing up for bootcamp was a logical move as the knowledge he gained helped him complete this side project. Speaking of side projects, he is currently developing a machine model that will predict flight prices. Impressive!

As a current full-time mentor, Alfred is involved with reviewing code and assisting students with machine learning. He loves helping students achieve their goals but also enjoys challenging himself and continuously learning new stacks and tools. 

Passionate about AI, machine learning, and data analysis, Alfred has set his sights on learning more about data engineering and upskilling in natural language processing so that he can build the kind of models he has always dreamt of. He says the best thing about being a mentor is that you learn along with your mentees. 

How does he think code could change the world for the better?

Software is already changing the world, and most repetitive jobs, such as verifying documents for errors, are going to be automated. Using AI will help us be so much more productive.”

Follow Alfred’s exciting career in tech on his Github portfolio.

Kirsten Forrester – From Technical Sales To Mentor and Software Engineer

After graduating from Wits with a BA in Industrial Psychology, Kirsten Forrester worked in technical sales at a company that specialises in biometric access control and time and attendance solutions. Here she became fascinated by the development team’s daily operations and started to learn the programming language Python. This led her to fall in love with coding and enrol with HyperionDev, where she attended the Software Engineer Bootcamp onsite, full-time.

Thanks to her HyperionDev qualification, she landed a position as a mentor and has since moved on to work full-time as a junior software engineer for us. 

Looking back to her time as a mentor, Kirsten says it taught her the importance of third parties being able to look at your code from an unbiased perspective. To her, future-proof code is preferable to code that’s banged out as quickly as possible, and it’s important to always think of future developers when designing solutions. 

A typical day as a mentor would consist of doing synchronous reviews (grading tasks) and asynchronous code reviews (calls/meetings to assist students in real-time). She also spent a lot of time on Discord, helping students with their queries.

What advice does she have for other graduates interested in following a coding career and becoming mentors? She says:

Mentoring provides an awesome opportunity to practise for code reviews of your future colleagues’ work. You will also have to deal with others’ style of coding a lot in your career, and mentoring teaches you to deal with and read different styles of coding.”

Follow Kirsten’s exciting career in tech on her Github portfolio

Darren Noortman – From Pipeline Engineer To Software Engineer And Mentor

Darren Noortman started his HyperionDev journey by attending our Software Engineering Bootcamp doing the online, part-time course. Getting there wasn’t easy. Despite obtaining a Government bursary to study software development at two private colleges, delays in payouts meant he had to find another path. He stumbled upon HyperionDev bootcamps, saved up, and today he is one of our most valued mentors. 

Unlike many mentors who switch careers from unrelated fields, Darren does have a background in tech. He initially worked as an IT Technician, then did an internship as a pipeline engineer at a visual effects and animation studio. Around that time, Darren developed a keen interest in programming, so he sought out the best in the business to help him level-up his skills.

Speaking about bootcamp, Darren says he loved the machine learning course – a notoriously tough one! He says doing extensive research and asking his own mentor loads of questions is what got him through it. While studying, he appreciated the fact that he didn’t have to waste time and money on topics  – such as the history of computers – he’d never use in the workplace. While he initially found the notion of studying programming daunting, HyperionDev’s constant guidance gave him the confidence to develop any application he could think of. As a side project, he is currently developing an e-commerce website for his brother’s business. 

Working as a mentor Darren is responsible for reviewing students’ work and for guiding them through their courses. He uses his tech skills daily, teaching different coding concepts, which he finds hugely rewarding. 

Asked about how his bootcamp made a change in his life, he says:

HyperionDev has given me a second chance in my career. I thought I would never work in this field after being kicked out of both of my colleges. There are many people in the same boat that want to pursue this field but cannot afford to go to a college or university for three years. HyperionDev is truly closing the gap in the demand for coding education.

Follow Darren’s exciting career in tech on his Github portfolio.


If you’re inspired by our mentors’ success stories and feel ready to embark on your own journey toward a fulfilling career in the tech industry, consider registering with HyperionDev and enrolling in one of our bootcamps here.

Who knows – your success story could be next!