CompuKids June 2015 Graphic Design Gallery

Take a look at what the Graphic Design students did at CompuKids during the June 2015 holidays:

Adem Teke




Sanaa Suliman


Batman logo


Lamiah Legodi


Hannah Thandar


Layyah Kharwa



Degree versus Certificate versus Skills – What’s the Deal?

 This is a special guest post written by our CEO , Award winning developer, Bilal Kathrada

Fact: there is a global skills shortage in the IT sector. There seems to be a never-ending demand for skilled IT personnel globally, and this trend is expected to continue well into the future. As a result of the severe skills shortage, IT companies are forced to poach IT professionals from other companies.


The big question is, how do we satisfy this global need for skills? Clearly, the current educational institutes are failing to meet this demand. So what is the solution? In our opinion, we should be producing more IT professionals, more quickly than we are currently doing. What is really needed is a short turn-around time to get people out there so that they can hit the ground running. We need to take students in, provide them with relevant, cutting edge skills, and get them out there in the shortest time possible.


That is why in our opinion a three year full time degree is simply too much of a time investment for a student who is serious about IT. The reason for this is very clear: technology is changing so fast, that by the third year of studying, what a student learned in the first year will be outdated. In any case, the best place to learn is the workplace.


I’m not dismissing the value of higher education; I’m simply saying it comes at the expense of experience” Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple


Added to that, the total cost of a degree in South Africa is around R100 000, depending on the institute at which you study. In fact, the cost will be considerably higher if you consider things like books, transport, living expenses etc.


As such IT varsity recommends the following to anyone who wants to get into IT:

certification1. Do a 1 year National Certificate at a recognized institute that provides practical training, quality education and, more importantly, cutting-edge skills.

2. At the end of the year, get a job in the field.

3. While working, choose a specialization field.

4. After the first or second year of working, apply for an IT degree – it may prove very valuable if you want to climb the corporate ladder, or if you want to go to work overseas. Study via distance learning while you work. In most cases, the employer will be glad to offer financial and other types of assistance.

The advantages of this approach are as follows:

  1. You get into the industry far quicker. After all, the reason for studying is to secure a job. Once you’ve secured your job, you can start growing professionally and financially.
  2. When you study towards your degree while working, you are gaining experience and going up in the salary scale. By the time you’ve completed your degree, you will have at least five years of experience! By then you will be a valuable asset to your company and at a senior level. Salary scales at this stage are at least R250k gross per annum. (Check out Career Junction and PNet websites for confirmation of this).Now compare the above with a student who goes straight into a degree programme at DUT, UKZN, etc. Realistically it takes about 4 years to complete a degree. At the end of the four years, you will struggle to get a job because, let’s face it, all these institutes are dishing out stuffy, outdated theory; the courses are far from practical. If you do get a job, you will be at the bottom of the salary scale, earning around R5000 typically, and then start climbing the salary scale.
  3. More often than not, by studying while you work, your employer will pay for your studies, which is a huge benefit to you and your parents or the people who are paying for your studies. Remember that in many cases, employers receive benefits from the government for up-skilling employees, so they are very glad to assist.


So clearly, the question is not whether a degree is better or a certificate; both have their merits. Instead, the question is about the immediate need of the individual and of the global tech industry. The individual needs to be out there as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible, while the industry needs as many skilled people as it can get, and as quickly as it can get them. In order to fulfill both these needs, a 1 year National Certificate is clearly the winner.

Don’t discount Durban when it comes to South Africa’s digital landscape

by: Kim Stavropoulos

Durban is renowned for its beaches, surfers and sharks. Durban is also an up-and-coming digital and media force that could soon give the big players a run for their money.

Home to some serious contenders in the web and app development space in South Africa, including SA Web Design as well as a range of new and existing digital marketing advertising agencies such as Paton Tupper, and big businesses such as Unilever and Mr Price, Durban is becoming an interesting hub for digital marketing and media creatives.

Cath Jenkin, a freelance “Durban-proud” copywriter, media consultant and columnist, attests to Durban’s digital and media clout. “Just a short look around my address book will tell you that Durban’s digital media work actually serves a far bigger audience than just the town itself. Events like Durban Digital Day bring the East Coast’s digital media world to life, and spotlight it in a way that is so necessary. If Durban were such a “sleepy hollow” as is often alleged (usually by people who’ve never even visited), then many of us who do work in online realms would probably be selling surfboards at the beach.”


The digital and media powerhouses

Barry Tuck, the “guy who does stuff” (according to his LinkedIn profile) at Paton Tupper Digital, is very proud of what Durban has to offer in the digital landscape. He is quick to give his competitors and other leading digital, media and marketing agencies their due. His full-service digital agency prides itself on delivering world-class solutions to some of South Africa’s leading brands, including web platforms, app development and building social media communities.

Tuck conceptualised and launched the Stork I Love Baking SA social campaign at Gorilla Creative Media, a Durban agency he co-founded five years ago. It’s now run by Dorin Bambus, who focuses on conceptualisation, content creation and management as well as brand strategy. This Stork margarine campaign was extremely successful and reached a record high of 350 893 Facebook followers. Gorilla was nominated for a Bookmarks award for this great initiative in the “Brand/Company Identity Mobile sites” category and subsequently won a Bronze bookmark.

Durban is also home to Unilever, one of the largest FMCG companies in South Africa, who are involved in some exciting online initiatives with brands including Stork, Knorr, Shield and Dove.
The first Mr Price store was opened in an old Bakers Biscuit warehouse in Durban in 1985. Its founders, Laurie Chiappini and Stewart Cohen, had a vision of creating factory shops that stocked fashionable clothing at reasonable prices. It is now one of the fastest-growing retailers in South Africa and is engaged in the business of retail distribution through 937 stores in Southern Africa and 24 franchised stores in Africa. Their hugely successful strategy involves engaging customers via online communication channels and a well-executed ecommerce presence.

Quirk, one of South Africa’s leading digital marketing agencies, recently “set up shop” in Durban, spearheaded by Group Strategy Director Nic Ray, who has spent the last few years as MD at Quirk London. Nic is excited about the enormous growth opportunities in Durban, and “plans to offer digital marketing solutions and consultancy to Durban-based brands that seek to engage with connected audiences.”

As Cath Jenkin says, “The ‘D’ in Durban stands for ‘Digital’ and we’re all proving it, every day


Thanks to Ventureburn for this great article.

South Africa is not ready for e-Books

High bandwidth costs, low access to e-readers and choking e-commerce legislation will keep South Africa’s adoption of e-book technology “limited” for the next five years.


ebook image

High bandwidth costs, low access to e-readers and choking e-commerce legislation will keep South Africa’s adoption of e-book technology “limited” for the next five years, while the hard-copy book market continues to struggle.

This is according to PwC’s entertainment and media outlook 2013 – 2017, which notes a decline in both physical entertainment and educational book sales – as well as a slow uptage of digital content in the country.

In the report, PwC said that, while a number of local e-commerce services have become established in South Africa that sell both physical and e-books online, the cost of e-readers and bandwidth constraints make the downloading of books difficult in some areas.

The firm also highlighted proposed legistlation by National Treasury, which would require non-South African suppliers of e-commerce services (for example, electronic books, music and programmes) to register as VAT vendors in the country for output tax on its supplies.

“This has resulted in e-book and e-reader penetration being lower in South Africa compared with many other markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA),” PwC said.

“For publishers, there are also concerns about the lack of clear policy around digital copyrights. Currently South African legislation is not in line with the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Copyright Treaty (WCT), which protects investments in digital media,” PwC said.

>>See this related video on iPads being used in the classroom in South Africa

A nation of illiteracy

According to PwC, the South African book market “continues to face a number of limitations in the wake of the high illiteracy rate and low incomes, coupled with the challenge of publishing books in multiple languages which effectively excludes large segments of the population from reading”.

“Illiteracy continues to be relatively high in South Africa,” said Vicki Myburgh, Entertainment & Media Industries Leader for PwC Southern Africa.

“[However], the government is taking steps to address this as part of its Industrial Policy Action Plan, with the goal of eliminating illiteracy by the end of the decade.”

PwC noted that books in South Africa are subject to Value-Added Tax (VAT) at 14%, which is higher than in most countries and has contributed to the high retail prices that tend to make books out of the reach of the majority of consumers.

“As a result, consumers are more likely to read newspapers and magazines,” PwC said.

According to data collected in the report, South Africa’s consumer book market is smaller than the educational book market, though both markets are expected to pick up by 2017.

The consumer and educational book market as a whole has fallen from R4.1 billion in 2008 to R3.6 billion in 2012 – however, this is expected to increase slightly to R3.7 billion by 2017.

“With a rise in the sale of consumer books, assisted by a general increase in living standards, the decline will not continue,” PwC said.

The consumer book market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5% to reach R1.6 billion in 2017, up from R1.4 billion in 2012.

However, the educational book market is expected to fall by a negative CAGR of 1.1% to R2.1 billion in 2017 – down from R2.8 billion in 2008.


Thanks to Business Tech for this great article.

Disruption and the mobile mind shift: welcome to the age of the customer

George Colony, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Forrester Research


“Empowered customers are disrupting every industry, ushering in a 20-year business cycle Forrester calls ‘the age of the customer’,” Forrester CEO George Colony told the LeWeb audience in Paris.

According to Colony, this 20-year business cycle will see “successful businesses will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers”.

Companies will have to substantially increase investment in mobile, big data, great customer experience, and disruptive business models to win and retain customers.

He reckons that the average customer is more informed and more empowered than ever before and companies need to adapt to that.

Though companies may argue that they have always been “customer-centric,” this is different, says Colony. It is not about “customer-centric” thinking or “the customer is always right.” This is about the new power of customers, which means that a focus on the customer now matters more than any other strategic imperative.

Pricing, sharing and everywhere

Colony says that because the new customer is better informed, they can share critiques — the power of the web and social. Now everything can be shared about a customer’s experience within seconds of that experience.

The new customer can buy from anyone and anywhere with around 22% of European ordering products of sites based outside of their own countries. The new customer also finds the best and accurate prices for a product.

He also notes some major difference between generations Y and X.

Compared to Gen X, Gen Y: watches 21% less TV, listens to 27% less radio, plays 319% more video games spends, 24% more time on the internet and spend 158% less time on newspapers. He says that Gen Z will bring more changes to the table as well.

The mobile mind shift

“Your customers expect any information or service they desire be available to them on any device, in context, at their moment of need,” says Colony.

The mobile mind shift is not on its way, it’s happening. He argues that in the future companies must put themselves into the pockets of their customers in order to get their attention and deliver great service. For Colony, we are headed to an age where the web will become the AM radio of the internet, available but not the primary service, he reckons the majority of businesses will engage customers via their mobile devices.

Though we are still a while from that he reckons we are coming along nicely. However it seems Windows Phone users are trailing behind when it comes to this mobile mind shift, with iPhone users already there. He notes that Asia-Pacific regions have the most mind-shifted customers.

The Forrester boss plays out the scenario where he can pay for his taxi ride via his phone as well tip the driver. His phone can tell him which airport terminal and gate he needs to catch his flight and show him his seat and offer him his favourite drink. The same device can then tell the elevator which floor to go to when he arrives at his hotel, as well as opened his hotel door for him.

Colony posses a question of how? Easy it seems, mix sensor information from your device, with social recommendations, to interaction with other smart products. It’s a case of becoming systems of record with customer information which will become systems of engagement. Companies need to provide real-time services or predictive services. He reckons that with geo-location and payment services that can feed into a big customer data repository, this can be done.

Why do it? To make money of course. After all, in the “future all companies will be software companies”


Thanks to Memeburn for this great article.

Hour of Code Offers Coding Tutorials from Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Etc

In advance of Computer Science Education Week, which kicks off on Monday, Code.org has brought together some of the biggest names in the tech industry to teach everyone to code. All it takes is an hour to start learning.



The tutorials cover most of the popular scripting languages. There’s one from Mark Zuckerberg and Angry Birds, an intro to JavaScript from Khan Academy, Python basics from Grok Learning, several “make a mobile app in an hour” tutorials, and more. You can start playing with the tutorials now, but more of them are still being added, and next week is when would-be coders of all ages are encouraged to spend a week or just an hour learning new skills.P

Besides Gates and Zuckerberg, most of the major tech companies (e.g., Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Apple, Yahoo) are backing this endeavor—and trying to correct the fact that 9 out of 10 US schools don’t even teach programming. P

Sign up and commit to just one hour at the link below or forward it to anyone who might want to explore computer science.

Thanks for Code.org for this contribution.

South Africa ranked among the world’s top five emerging nations with highest levels of access to web

Kenya is an ‘overachiever’ with regard to using the internet while South Africa is ranked among the world’s top five emerging nations with the highest levels of access to the web.

This is according to the Web Index 2013, which has been conducted by the World Wide Web Foundation and measures the web’s growth, utility and impact on people and nations.


Key global findings of the report include that Sweden and Norway are the world’s two top performing countries overall in this year’s web index, as almost 95% of people in these countries are online.

Meanwhile, the report says that in Africa, fewer than one in five people are using the internet.

Between 50% and 70% of Africans say high costs are the main reason why they are not online, according to the index.

But despite the gloomy picture for Africa, the report does highlight a few shining African examples.

Kenya, for example, ranks 53rd overall on the index, and is the fourth highest ranked African nation behind South Africa at 35, Mauritius at 40 and Tunisia at 44.

More specifically, Kenya ranks 63rd in terms of universal access, 57th regarding freedom and openness, 55 for relevant content and at 36 for empowerment.

And as Kenya is a low-income country according to the World Bank, the World Wide Web foundation has labeled the East African nation as an “overachiever” in terms of its status in the index.

Kenya’s income rank on the index is 68 while its web index rank is 53, meaning that the difference is 15 places between the two.

“On this year’s Index, the biggest overachievers, achieving a web index rank at least 14 places ahead of their rank by per capita income, included the Philippines, New Zealand, Colombia, Korea, Kenya, the UK and Estonia,” says the report.

“The Philippines was the developing country that achieved the highest overall ranking in the Web Index 2013, followed by Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco and Ghana,” the report also explains.

Meanwhile, South Africa, which is described as a middle income country by the World Bank, has been ranked among the top five emerging market nations on the index.

In this category, Mexico achieved the highest overall position in the Web Index 2013 at 30, followed by Colombia at 32, Brazil at 33, Costa Rica at 34 and South Africa at 35.

More specifically, South Africa scored 34 in terms of universal access, 20 for freedom and openness, 48 for relevant content and 37 for empowerment.

But the report does highlight concerns regarding South Africa’s efforts, or rather lack thereof, to further boost web access.

“South Africa’s database of school infrastructure needs, covering almost 25,000 public schools and designed to be regularly updated, reveals issues of serious concern,” says the report.

“For example, 68% of schools do not have any computers and almost 80% do not have libraries,” the report adds.

Africa’s second largest economy Nigeria has an overall ranking of 67 on the index.

Other global findings of the report has also highlighted that internet spying and blocking are on the rise worldwide.

Almost one in three countries worldwide block politically sensitive web content to a moderate or severe extent while just five countries have met best practice standards for checks and balances on government interception of electronic communications, the report says.

“Provisions against cybercrime, terrorism, or blasphemy are frequently being employed to silence legitimate dissent or justifying blanket digital surveillance,” says the report.

World Wide Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee last year introduced the inaugural index.

Berners-Lee is a member of the Web Index Science Council that provides advice in the construction and analysis of the Web Index.

-Thanks to ITWeb Africa for this great contribution

Is Generation Y Lazy and Self-Entitled?


Hackers steal Adobe source code

Adobe Systems said on Thursday that hackers had stolen source code to some of its most popular software and data about millions of its customers.

Security experts worry about the theft of source code because close review of the programs can lead to the discovery of new flaws that can be used to launch hard-to-detect attacks against all users of that software.

The hackers took source code for Adobe Acrobat, which is used to create electronic documents in the PDF format, as well as ColdFusion and ColdFusion Builder, used to create Internet applications, Adobe said.


Adobe chief security officer Brad Arkin said the company had been investigating the breach since its discovery two weeks ago and it had no evidence of any attacks based on the theft. “Based on our findings to date, we are not aware of any specific increased risk to customers as a result of this incident,” Arkin wrote on an Adobe blog.

Arkin said hackers also took information on 2.9 million Adobe customers, including their names, user identification numbers and encrypted passwords and payment card numbers. He said the attacks may be related.

The company said it was resetting passwords for affected customers worldwide and warning people to change any passwords reused at other sites. The US Department of Homeland Security’s computer incident response team on Thursday warned that Adobe customers should be on the alert for fraud.

Adobe said it was working with banks and federal law enforcement to mitigate intrusions on customer accounts and to pursue those responsible.

The company said it had been helped by cyber security journalist Brian Krebs and security expert Alex Holden, who found a cache of Adobe code while probing attacks at three major US data providers.

Krebs wrote on his blog, Krebson Security.com, on Thursday that the two men discovered the code while investigating breaches at Dun & Bradstreet, Altegrity’s Kroll Background America and Reed Elsevier’s LexisNexis.

He said the Adobe code was on a server he believed was used by those who hacked into LexisNexis and the others. The hackers offered Social Security numbers, credit report information and other highly sensitive data for sale over the Internet and had access inside the companies’ Web sites through hacked computers, Krebs said.

In a 10-Q filing on Thursday, Adobe referred to the recent attacks in one paragraph. “We do not believe that the attacks will have a material adverse impact on our business or financial results,” it said. “It is possible, nevertheless, that this incident could have various adverse effects.”

Article originally published on ITWeb