Martha Chumo – the founder of Nairobi Dev School.

TReND is very excited to announce a new partnership with Nairobi Dev School!

Nairobi Dev School was founded in 2013 by Martha Chumo, a self-taught programmer from Nairobi, Kenya. They’ve now taught their first three cohorts, arrange apprenticeships and mentors for students, and work extensively with a local technology business incubator.

Back in 2013 Martha had been unable to attend the New York Hacker School (self-funded with an impressive IndieGoGo campaign) after being denied an American visa. Despite a flurry of support letters – including those from Hacker SchoolAdaCamp, the GNOME Outreach Program for Women, the Codecademy community manager and her mentor from the Apache Deltacloud Project – her status as an unmarried Kenyan woman with no children remained problematic to the US consulate.

Not one to give up easily, Martha quickly came up with a different plan: if she couldn’t go to New York for Hacker School, she’d bring Hacker School to Kenya instead!

Most people in Kenya don’t have easy access to computers, so in order to be accessible to everyone who wants to learn the school itself needed to be free and to provide equipment such as laptops, electricity and internet access. This brought on a new round of frenzied fundraising – this time with a more ambitious goal of raising $50,000 for school setup.

Not only does the new school provide much-needed learning opportunities for software development, it also seeks to actively address the gender gap in the profession. Being set up and run by a woman is a great start, and Martha is as passionate about teaching as she is about programming: “Best part about coding? Teaching and giving back to the community. My friends and I are planning classes to get even more Kenyan women excited about coding.”

TReND is extremely excited to begin working with Martha and the Dev School and we look forward to delivering innovative programming courses together in the future.

You can find out more about Martha (@NjeriChelimo) and the Nairobi Dev School on their website.