DUBAI, 22nd March, 2022 (WAM) — Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Teleworking Applications, confirmed that the UAE government, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, will adopt modern technology and artificial intelligence solutions to enhance its future readiness.
The opportunities and benefits made possible by technology and artificial intelligence, as well as the challenges it will help solve, will serve as a key driver for shaping the country’s digital future, Al Olama explained.
The affirmation by Al Olama follows the launch of 10 innovative initiatives from Coders HQ, an initiative unveiled under the umbrella of the National Programme for Coders, at the Museum of the Future. The initiatives include the establishment of an evaluation headquarters; creation of an ambassador program; roll-out of a language programmer challenge; creation of a Tanzu-focused community; organisation of an “OpenHack” hackathon; and the use of LinkedIn statistics; the challenges initiative with Majid Al Futtaim; the collaboration between Emirates and Evaluation Headquarters nominating the coders into career opportunities; Global DevSlam specialised to empower more than 15,000 coders in the UAE.
The objective of these initiatives is to increase the number of programmers in the country and aspire to achieve the highest number of programmers per capita globally. Additionally, the goal of these coder-centric innovations is to build the reputation of the country’s programming communities as the best in the region, while ensuring they are provided with optimal job opportunities. Together, these initiatives will support the UAE as a preferred global destination for programmers in a thriving digital economy.
Al Olama said, “Strengthening the programming community in the country is an important goal for Coders HQ. 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, in order to empower them with required skills for future occupations.”
He emphasised that the launch of these new initiatives embodies the vision and direction of the country’s leadership to develop advanced programming communities, as well as prepare a new generation that is capable of using technology to build a competitive knowledge-based economy. He announced that the digital economy doubled the contribution to the UAE economy, reaching 9.7 percent.
In line with the country’s aspiration to achieve scientific and technological excellence, these initiatives reflect the goals of the Coders HQ programme to provide an incubating and stimulating environment for talented individuals, specialised in programming and artificial intelligence.
The Coders HQ is set out to support and educate a new generation of coders, enhancing their capabilities in areas such as programming and technology. Additionally, the HQ strives to support programming communities by providing an incubating and stimulating environment for those with specialised skills, empowering them with the necessary tools and expertise to innovate. Their innovation will shape the future and support the UAE as a global hub for programmers in a thriving digital economy.
“Update” platform witnessed the establishment of a set of partnerships between the programmer’s headquarters and a group of leading agencies and companies which aim to strengthen the programmers community in the UAE and embrace the country’s position as a global hub for programmers, e.g. the partnership with the Dubai World Trade Center to hold the DevSlam Summit, which brings many different software summits to hold together, the partnership with Emirates to publish challenges within the challenges headquarters and nominating talents in coding to them from Coders HQ, and partnering with Majid Al Futtaim Group, which contributes to supporting and promoting programming and technology and building a sustainable digital economy.
Helal Al Marri, Director-General Dubai Economy & Tourism Department Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, stated that Global DevSlam is working in partnership with Coders HQ to support the coders national program through attracting excellent coders internationally, empowering coders and supporting coding communities. Global DevSlam has strategic tools and abilities to embrace the efforts through connecting talented coders with the opportunities in the vibrant UAE hub.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, said, “We’re delighted to partner with the AI’s office and to be a part of this strategic initiative to collaborate in attracting skilled professionals and offer career development for youths. This year, we plan to release other specific Emirates business case initiatives under the Coders HQ initiative. In addition, Emirates plans to hire more than 500 IT professionals to increase the number of our talent coders and take part in supporting future projects. We’ve also tapped on our Aviation X-lab partnership to launch our own internal Emirates Group community to support and nurture anyone passionate about coding, regardless of their experience.”
The Evaluation Headquarters is tasked with developing a clear classification for programmers in accordance with their skill level, in addition to providing them with optimal employment opportunities with relevant organisations. Additionally, it is responsible for determining a national baseline to understand the current level of skill among programmers in the country, as well as facilitating the recruitment process with the private sector. To increase efficiency during the recruitment process, programmers who wish to participate in the evaluation initiative can submit their applications through the website www.ai.gov.ae/hqasssment. The initiative is currently in its first phase and utilises an evaluation criterion of more than 200 relevant skills.
The Headquarters is also concerned with programmers in the UAE who are seeking to test their capabilities, participate in training opportunities or pursuing employment. Interested programmers who would like to be assessed can participate throughout the year.
Coders HQ will collaborate with the evaluation headquarters to share any assessment results with over 30 of its private sector partners in an automated and private manner.
Coder HQ Ambassadors
The Coder HQ Ambassadors initiative is concerned with building the capabilities of ambassadors to allow them to spread programming knowledge and awareness across the country, especially among university students. Additionally, the Ambassadors are responsible for sourcing employment opportunities for interested students, as well increase efforts to drive interest to learn programming, in pursuit of fulfilling demand for coders in the private sector.
The Ambassadors will be able to use the allocated space at Coders HQ, located at Emirates Towers, to propose and implement projects that serve public interest. This opportunity will enable them to serve as an important partner in the process of developing the UAE’s digital economy. Individuals who are interested in joining the Ambassadors programme can apply through www.ai.gov.ae/chqambsd.
Natural Language Processing Challenge
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 1st April, 2022, 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. Those interested can register through www.ai.gov.ae/lahja.
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. Additionally, this initiative will introduce the programming Community to powerful technologies that are able to predict future growth and were previously only available to large companies. Individuals interested in joining the meetings can find more information via the following link: www.ai.gov.ae/chq.
“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.
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.