Empowering Communities through Code and Koha

November 7, 2023 | Graduate Profile, Part-Time, Student Life

Hope's journey at Dev Academy has been a backward dance compared to the usual steps taken by students. She followed her passion for sustainability and hapori, which led her to create CoKoha, a charity app that empowers people to give back to their community in the spirit of Koha.

Before joining Dev Academy's part-time programme, Hope had already completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with minors in Geography, Sustainability Studies, and Philosophy and had two children. While maintaining her passion for strengthening the community through a mātauranga māori mindset and harnessing the mātāpono of koha (gifts), she recognized that there were gaps in her technical knowledge that needed to be addressed to further develop her app.

Hope's study part-time from home setup

Despite her initial reservations about her ability to learn coding, Hope found that Dev Academy's structured approach and supportive tutors helped her to gain a solid foundation in coding concepts. She was particularly impressed by the Agile methodology used by the program, a tool she could apply to her work and coding.

Hope also appreciated the community spirit of the programme, with its focus on peer interaction and teamwork. She found that the other students in her class were supportive and friendly, and she enjoyed working with them to solve problems and complete projects.

"And with the boot camp side of it, just having that weekly hui, I think was really good because we did form a really nice little group of friends."

One of the standout aspects of the course was the remote structure, which suited Hope's circumstances as she studied from Hawkes Bay. Dev Academy's structured approach ensured that students always understood what they had covered, how it connected to their learning journey, and what lay ahead. The curriculum celebrated every achievement, whether big or small, fostering a sense of community and close-knit friendships among classmates. This group dynamic and peer interaction played a crucial role in Hope's experience, and she made many friends along the way.

Hope's primary goals for her time at Dev Academy were centred around providing support, understanding, and guidance to the CoKoha team. Her primary focus was on something other than coding, despite the Dev Academy curriculum emphasising JavaScript and TypeScript, both essential in today's job market. However, Hope's "aha" moment came when she encountered React, another industry-standard language. Thanks to the programme's curriculum, Hope developed a solid foundation in coding concepts and clarity from this foundation made Hope realise that she could accomplish what had once seemed impossible.

The helpful and supportive tutors at Dev Academy were another standout aspect of the course. Students could freely approach them for any questions, discuss course-related matters, request extensions or days off, and provide feedback.

"When you leave school, people don't tell you enough about the possibility of dreaming. They tell you something like go find something stable, which is understandable, but also live your life, man! Just try it! What's going to happen? You fail? Oh well. Try something else!"

So, what's next? Hope is yet to graduate from the part-time programme, but she is already in high demand from her hapori. She's been asked to mentor at various schools, with a particular focus on rangatahi Māori. While she plans to take a break from studying to focus on her well-being and family, her app is on the brink of being launched.

Learn more about Dev Academy and how you can become a web developer part-time with our 30 week part-time web developer programme.