WeThinkCode_ AT RAGE!

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Very few things in life, allow us geeks the opportunity to roam our natural habitats, unhindered and on the prowl for the latest and greatest in gaming and all things tech. Fewer still, make us froth at the mouth, give us laser focus and fill us with a great sense of gaming purpose. Rage is one of those things.

Gamers in all their glory

As 34 693 eager-beavers descended upon Africa’s largest 3-day gaming expo, we were offered some wondrous insight into the industry we all call home: The gaming industry is growing at light-speed, Tech and game development is finally coming unto it’s own and dawning on the fact that some cosplays are more equal than others.

Here’s how it all went down.

eSports, A growing phenomenon.

The first ever eSports Branding Summit in Africa kicked off in full force this weekend, which served as a looking glass into an industry that we’re very excited to be a part of. The Telkom Digital Gaming League was also at the center of the event, sporting a massive screen streaming live in-game footage of games such as DOTA and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Teams battled it out to be crowned champions of DGL Masters Final. Only two Teams emerged as victors: White Rabbit Gaming (WRG) as champions of the DOTA Final and Bravado Gaming (BVD) as champions of the CS GO Final.  

Becoming a reality

Quickly becoming a staple in the tech industry, augmented and virtual reality was another big hit at Rage this year, seeing companies like Sony, Blue Ocean and Learn 3D all showing off their gear, games and innovative ideas. Although, it seems, the technology is making reaches into other industries as well, including architecture, travel and tourism as well as film. This makes one wonder, what does the future have in store for our tech-driven world?

Cosplay Culture

This weekend, there were a great many sights to behold. None, more so sightly than the living embodiments of our all-time favourite characters. We all felt like kids again as we excitedly chased after characters from Super Mario, legends from DOTA, countless Darth Vader’s, Overwatch heroes, Suicide Squad lookalikes and perfectly reconstructed characters from our most-liked anime. Pictures were taken, scene reenactments took place, fun was had and saved to say, our imaginations have been captivated once again.

The future seems brighter already

WeThinkCode_ also partook in all the gaming wizardry this past weekend, appealing to all future tech leaders, game developers and innovators. Our students showcased some remarkable projects and assisted prospective students with taking our onsite test. We also 3D printed a robotic spider, which had many a visitor flocking to our stand. A record number of applications were captured this past weekend, which is a clear indicator that Africa is in dire need of tech talent – talent that will pioneer our ever-growing industry, economy and the futures of our youth.

We have complete confidence that with WeThinkCode_ at the helm of a world-class free education, the future of tech and game development seems brighter already.

Bringing it all together

Overall, Rage 2016 was profoundly successful and we’re extremely pleased with the turnout. We expect a great many things from an industry filled with so much promise, not to mention that the gaming community is finally under the spotlight – a spotlight that it rightfully deserves. To close, we’d also like to extend a warm thanks to our sponsor, Telkom, without which this experience would not have been possible. Until next year – Eat, Sleep, Game, Repeat.

Code School Diary: The Accidental Coding Rock Star

It all started out of curiosity.

I never thought I would really make it as I began WeThinkCode_  not knowing what coding was to begin with.

I remember my first day as if it was yesterday, even though it was about 6 months ago when I first learnt what coding was and worked on an iMac. All was well until I had to stand on my own two feet and prove my worth. Sometimes I really wonder if I was born to code or not.

Life is not in binary, we have more than only two options but we still fail to choose the right one. Who said coding was for me? Is it really for me? I never in all my wildest dreams believed I would ever be coding. Would I have been this happy elsewhere? I wonder if I would have been this happy if I had never listened to the radio to hear about WTC_?

Who would have ever thought that playing the two games would land me a spot at one of South Africa’s most highly selective academy. Sometimes I wonder why I enjoy coding so much, it was never my childhood dream, it was never my dream career. You know how they say the only career you will only enjoy is the one you always dream about, well I don’t think that is true. Or maybe it’s the atmosphere here.

I just feel ecstatic when I am here. Maybe it’s the people. Could it be that I’m being fooled by my own mind, or is it the comfort of belonging that is keeping me here? As hard as coding is opening that terminal makes me feel at ease, it makes me feel like a rock star.

As bad as some days may be and as many segmentation faults I may get I don’t regret my decision. You know they say in life you write your own story, well I write my own code. All I need to solve all of these questions is code.

Written by Noluthando Khotle

This story is part of a regular series written for htxt.africa by students of WeThinkCode_, a revolutionary new teaching college in downtown Johannesburg, reflecting on what it’s like to be a young technologist starting out in South Africa today. Find out more about WeThinkCode_ here.

This article was originally published on htxt.africa on 05 September 2016.

THE BLUE BAND SOCIETY

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Boy should you see us with our bands, spectacular is the word. They might be just bands to you but they are more than that, they are the deoxyribonucleic acid that we carry with us. It’s more like without a band you will not code your way to your future, yeah I know…a band can do all that? You see coding is more than just being able to code a couple of functions but being able to explain and understand the code. Coding is being able to interact with your peer and be willing to share what you know. Information kept to yourself is the same as not knowing anything, or at least that’s how we see it at WTC_.

What if we can re-code how the world works? You know how they say ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’, what if I told you that the future is in the hands of the blue band wearer…That’s right for every WTC_ student is the band to the future. Where there is WTC_ there are possibilities. Wearing the blue band is not only a responsibility but a right to design the future, and to turn challenges into opportunities. There is a hundred and twenty of us and we are all different…diversity is written all over us and we sure do celebrate it.

Even with all our differences, in order for all of us to be able to design and code the future, we all need each other and allow our spectacular Society to thrive. Empowering each other is what we are best known for, right after the coding that is. It’s only when everyone works together, that everyone succeeds that’s why our WTC_ blue band society is so important to us. We do face individual problems but together we get through everything because a society we are, a family we are and coding we do. We are the blue band society and we are coding for success, the future and beyond. We are the next big thing!

Noluthando Khotle.

EUREKA

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“I’ve been a musician for fifteen years, and for the most part I was crap.” At least I think that’s what Kyle said during the Audio Visual Club lecture on Music Production. He kept at it, which was the point. Even when Producers rubbished his work, he took the criticism in his stride and tried again, and again … and again.

She had an epiphany that fateful afternoon. Everything suddenly made sense. She had been trying so hard to catch up, to submit, to fit in, that she overlooked the fact that code too was a skill, and that skills took understanding and a lot of practice. She would have to work at it, harder than most, but work she would have to.

It had been a difficult month or so. She had missed over five project submissions and had wallowed in her own disappointment. Struggling to wake, struggling to eat, and struggling to work. Failure filled her mind. “Uhhhmmm, how did you get into We Think Code?” That’s what Tiyani asked when she enquired over advice on work ethic – how to get into coding mode, where to begin.

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WHAT WE LOST, WE CAN CODE

 

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“I’d like to know about the process one goes through when writing a book.” This is a question posed by Luthando to Moses Nzama Khaizen Mtileni, who joined us today for the Literary Arts Club Meeting. “Writing for me,” Moses began, in a slow tone heavy with accent, ”is more about my encounters with the world.” He went on to elaborate on how he writes not because he is mandated to do so, but because he feels that the there are certain things that occur in society that warrant documenting, and so he does this in the best way he knows, with a lyrical pen.

His first novel, which is written in Xitsonga and set in Kliptown, Soweto, the township that gave birth to the Freedom Charter, is an example he uses to elaborate on how he through this art is able to tell the tale of an instance where it is the victim of an injustice that forgets the unjust act and does to others what the perpetrator once did to him – a metaphor for the ANC government of date perhaps.

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LOST IN CODE

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Eat, Sleep, Code. Yeah man this is how we do it. I don’t know if it’s just me but I have a feeling that every coder has a set of functions, much like c functions that are their daily lives you know.

So if eat, sleep and code are variables of a function. What then would we call that function? Well it can’t be the main because the main is…well the function of life, existence and so on. It’s the main man if you’d like. So maybe call it ft_dpr() meaning function_dailyprogrammerroutine. Now this got me thinking what other daily functions does a programmer’s life/main consist of.

Well we have the ft_mrp()-function morning routine prep. Now this function is your wake up variable, remember that no-matter how early you up or how late you sleep, you’ll never be up to date with your code variable, there’s a man I need to eat better variable, a was that thing today sub-function and my personal favourite, am I a better coder than I was sub-function. Also the ft_mrp() is cool cause it’s a recursive function. The increment depends on an age function that returns a value that ensures you keep waking up until one day you don’t. Well…that got dark fast. Anyway, enough with the morning function I think we can all agree that it’s, well yeah.

So now that we awake we need a ft_wynfd() – function, what you need for the day. This function is  every programmers bread and butter. I mean especially at wtc. Because without this function you forget your headsets and have to spend the whole day listening to people sing along to the music coming from their headsets. Which doesn’t come out as right as they think it does, hey. It’s also one of my personal favourite functions because it’s the kind of function that has more nested if statements than the mind of a kid in a toy shop with a limited budget.

Talking of limits one of the functions, also called by a coders main happens to be the ft_ryhlt() – function remember that you have limited time. Now I’ll be honest with you. This function takes more variables, sub-functions, recursive calls and conditions than it’s humanly possible to remember. It’s a very complex function is what I’m trying to say. In fact it’s so complex that as I am writing this sentence right here I have no idea how I’ll be able to express it.

So how do I begin. An algorithm would be nice right about now hey. Anyway in the spirit of pretending as if we have already described the function and its internal workings. Imagine a world without the functionality of functions. In that same breath imagine a program without functions? For those that could, bad news. By the act of imagining you were following a set of functions to imagine the very thing you were trying to imagine living without. Functionality. To be a function is to have functionality. This doesn’t make the functionality productive or otherwise, just functional.

The aim is to make good functions, brilliant functions, extraordinary functions. Like falling in love. The best function ever. It’s so good that when it crashes. It will be a while before all the other functions restore order. Let’s not forget passion. Passion is the function that keeps the code working. It’s what makes it better. It’s the reason updates exist. It’s why we are coders.

So keep functioning and who knows maybe one day. You’ll be the main that makes the world execute. Or in the least contribute towards it. That’s not a bad job for a function. Considering there’s a function out there whose functionality is to simply not, function.

M. Makwakwa

JOKER GAME RECOMENDATION

JokerG-Wallpaper-1000x500.jpgIf you have interest in espionage and the idea of pre-World War II Japan, then this recommendation is for you.

Nearing the start of the Second World War, intelligence on other countries’ social and economic situation becomes a valuable asset. Resulting in Japan establishing its very first spy organisation known as “D Agency”. Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Yuuki, eight men are chosen through rigorous tests to join this agency. These men are assigned to infiltrate and observe some of the most powerful countries and report on the activities within their borders associated with the ensuing war. In order to carry out these dangerous tasks, these men have their bodies trained to survive even the most extreme conditions and are educated in various fields such as communications, languages and even native cultures and habits. Their greatest strength however, lies within their ability to manipulate people in order to obtain the information needed to give Japan the upper hand in negotiation and in the war itself.

The story is very episodic and we follow either the Lieutenant Colonel or the members of D Agency as they go about their “business”, so it’s enjoyable even for those who are not binge watchers. The animation style is very easy on the eyes and for those who enjoyed my previous recommendation, it should be a pretty lateral transition.

This anime receives a score of 7.8 out of 10, mainly because it is still currently ongoing and I normally give my last 2 points depending on the ending. It airs on a weekly basis so be sure to check it out at your leisure.

Till the next recommendation.

Goitsemang Billy Setsiba.