UAE launches 10 initiatives to empower 15,000 coders in 6 months

Open to expats and citizens, the Coders HQ initiatives aim to create a large community of trained coders in the UAE



Minister Omar Al Olama speaks during the launch of the initiatives to empower 15,000 coders.
Minister Omar Al Olama speaks during the launch of the initiatives to empower 15,000 coders.
by

Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Tue 22 Mar 2022, 8:50 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Mar 2022, 3:35 PM

As part of the country's efforts to create a pool of digital skilled professionals in the workforce, 10 initiatives were launched on Tuesday to empower 15,000 coders in the UAE over the next six months.

The group of initiatives, launched under Coders HQ in partnership with global tech companies, are part of the benchmark National Program for Coders that aims to attract 100,000 coders to the UAE by end of this year.

Open to expats and citizens, the Coders HQ initiatives aim to create a large community of trained coders in the UAE and provide programmers with optimal job opportunities in the market.

The initiatives include a classification system of coders in the UAE, a coding ambassador programme, a language programmer challenge, and nomination of coders into career opportunities.

According to figures revealed by LinkedIn, there are currently 63,000 digital skilled professionals in the UAE’s workforce.

Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, said the Coders HQ initiatives are part of the UAE's efforts to close the year with 100,000 coders.

“We want to add 15,000 more coders, whether expats or citizens, to the current pool of digital talents we have in the UAE. We want to create an advanced technology movement from the UAE to the world.”

Al Olama noted that the initiatives were developed in partnership with the private sector to establish a productive and advanced workforce that drives the UAE’s future digital economy and positions the country as a destination for programmers in the world.

“The initiatives put forward will help us understand the current state of the coder community, as well as what is required to build their capability to empower them with required skills for future occupations,” said Al Olama.

Located in Emirates Towers in January 2022, Coders HQ serves as an incubator that provides the necessary tools and expertise to nurture the next generation of coders specialised in artificial intelligence and advanced technologies.

Since its launch, Coders HQ has trained and equipped 2,500 coders across different programmes, with an average of 27 coders a day.

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Through pioneering initiatives to support and nurture coding communities, the UAE aims to align coding skills with the rapidly evolving labour market to accelerate the adoption of digital applications in various economic and future-oriented sectors.

Earlier in July, the UAE government announced granting Golden Visas to 100,000 of the world’s best coders and increasing investment in startups from Dh1.5 billion to Dh4 billion.

Coders HQ initiatives

Some of the initiatives announced are as follows:

1. (hq) Assessment

An initiative to categorise coders in the UAE according to their skillset and capabilities across 200 different coding skills. Based on the result, Coders HQ will design a roadmap for each applicant to develop the necessary skills for the top coding jobs.

Results will be shared with 30 private companies to match the talent with the right job opportunity in the private sector including partners like Emirates Airline and Majid Al Futtaim. The initiative helps the private sector in filtering talent and hosting the most productive quality of workforce in the digital realm.

Interested candidates can apply on www.ai.gov.ae/hqast

2. (hq) Ambassador

An initiative to establish coding role models in every emirate, private and government entity who can train 100 other aspiring coders in different disciplines. In the first phase, 25 ambassadors will be announced over the coming months.

The initiative aims to empower coders to share and spread knowledge in a sustainable way, benefiting over 2,500 people. When applying for the initiative, aspiring ambassadors will go through a rigorous process to evaluate their skills and ability to drive change within their communities. After succeeding in a six-month probation, they will be announced as permanent ambassadors who will enjoy several benefits including exclusive invitations to special events, seat in the Coders HQ Ambassador board, recommendation letters to the top universities and companies based on their accomplishment and efforts.

https://ai.gov.ae/chqambd/

3. Challenges

An initiative that enables coders to solve corporate-level challenges for a prize, it helps the private sector to freelance a solution instead of bearing costs of recruitment, while guiding coders to apply skills they have learned in practice.

4. NLP for Emirati Dialect

In collaboration with Cisco, the "Language Challenge" initiative seeks to develop specialised teams of Emiratis in the field of natural language processing. These teams will be responsible for educating university students on the job market and developing a future talent pool of programmers. Registration will begin on April 1 and interviews with select candidates will take place shortly after. During the preparatory stage, applicants are trained in the “Python” language and understand the basics of machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing. During the second phase, real challenges in this field will begin to be solved. Interested candidates can apply on www.ai.gov.ae/lahja.

5. (hq) Meetups – Tanzu community

The Tanzu Community initiative, launched in collaboration with VMWare, a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, provides programmers with an opportunity to learn about multiple software technologies. The Community will hold monthly meetings with those interested with the objective of nurturing future talent, in support of the objectives of the Coders HQ to create the strongest software community in the region. This initiative will also introduce the programming Community to powerful technologies, previously available only to large companies, to predict future growth. Individuals interested in joining the meetings can find information on www.ai.gov.ae/chq.

6. “Open Hack” Hackathon

The "Open Hack" Hackathon, a joint project between Microsoft and Coders HQ, aims to develop specialised programming teams to work within the private sector in the field of "DevOps". This will result in increased competitiveness which will have a positive impact on the digital economy, in addition to cementing the UAE as a global destination for programmers and knowledge development.

7. Dev Slam Global

Besides hosting one of the largest programming conferences in the Middle East — Python MEA —Dubai will also host Dev Slam Global from October 10-14 to bring together developer and coder communities in a platform to hone their skills and share knowledge. Dev Slam empowers students, software engineers and developers through several specialised conferences and software summits. The event will support the national programme through attracting excellent coders internationally, empowering coders and supporting coding communities.

8. LinkedIn Statistics

The LinkedIn Statistics initiative is designed to provide accurate statistics that reflect the current state of programmers in the UAE. With more than 63,000 programmers working across all sectors in the UAE, access to this objective data will improve the decision-making process.


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