You too can learn how to code

There is still a lot of sensitisation that needs to be done in the country about the use of Information Communication Technologies because it is through this that Rwandans will understand the advantages of adapting the skills
Willy Liambi doing what he does best. Education Times/ Ben Gasore.
Willy Liambi doing what he does best. Education Times/ Ben Gasore.

There is still a lot of sensitisation that needs to be done in the country about the use of Information Communication Technologies because it is through this that Rwandans will understand the advantages of adapting the skills

When individuals start companies, one of the key things to consider is having a website where all the company information and products can be found. At Programage Limited, Willy Liambi, 24, has offered to be that middle-man who enables companies to get an online presence. He is one of the brains behind igihe.com website. Liambi explains to Education Times’ Ben Gasore the secret behind his success and why you should learn how to code.

What is coding?

Within software development, programming or coding as you may call it is to find a sequence of instructions that will automate performing a specific task or solve a given problem.

When and what inspired you to venture in this field?

I first picked interest in software development when I was 17 after seeing a friend of mine do it on his laptop. Later on, I got my own laptop and went to the internet where I found free tutorials on how to write code.

When did you think it was time for you to commercialise the skills you had attained?

I decided to start Programage Limited in 2011, dealing in the business of domain name registration, web designing and hosting, taking people’s business files and putting them on the internet and getting firms an online identity so that they can have a browsing address.

However, prior to that, I had partnered with a few colleagues in founding and maintaining a couple of well known websites like igihe.com. Therefore, my starting a company was in line with practicing my expertise and giving employment opportunities to young people like me.

How many people were you employing at first and how many do you employ now?

I started the company with three employees and the number has since shot up to 11 now. We also have an internship programme whereby secondary and university school  students can take time when they are free to come and learn basics in programming like website development and how they can use such skills to make money. It has really been an eye opener for most of them.

What are some of the challenges you face in this work?


There is still a lot of sensitisation that needs to be done in the country about the use of Information Communication Technologies because it is through this that Rwandans will understand the advantages of adapting the skills.

Many today, for example, don’t understand why they should own an email address. However, the sector still presents a lot of potential and with time many will become well versed with it.

How much were you making, as a company when you started out and how much are you making now? 

Well, when we started, the company used to rake in an average of Rwf2m per month but three years on, the firm now makes an average of Rwf4m a month, which shows you the opportunities we get in terms of maintaining institutions’ websites and online information and carrying out campaigns like the online voting for Miss Rwanda.

What message do you have for those who wish to pursue this career line?

The key message I have especially for the young lads is to not only use the internet to chat with friends on Facebook or Twitter but also take time to look for free video and book tutorials that will enhance their knowledge not only in ICT but also in other fields they may be interested in.

Life is all about how you position yourself to earn a decent living from your skills.

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