Student perspectives

I'm grateful he believed in me - Babirye Grace

By

Joanita Nassiwa, Refactory

on

April 19, 2021

Babirye Grace is a Refactory alum who now serves as a scrum master for Laboremus Uganda. Before joining Refactory, Grace pursued a degree in software engineering at Makerere University.

“My first interaction with Michael Niyitegeka(Program Director-Refactory)was at a tech-related competition and he was a judge. My team won and from his feedback to my team, I knew he was someone I needed to keep on my radar so I made sure I got his contact,” Grace recounts.

"When I gave him a call, he introduced me to Refactory and told me what it was all about. I knew in a heartbeat that I needed to get into Refactory. While at the university we used to write code on paper, but never to see what the end product would look like. I jumped at the opportunity and applied even with the knowledge that I had to find the 750,000 for tuition fees," Grace added.

Refactory extends scholarships to promising applicants who prove beyond reasonable doubt that they have financial constraints. Babirye Grace applied for the scholarship and was awarded one.

"The catalyst course was such an enlightening experience. I understood what it meant to be a well-rounded software developer, I set very audacious goals for myself and I was determined to see them to completion. Our first non-technical classes with Julia helped me see myself as more than what I was, they helped me see who I could be." Grace shared

Babirye Grace on her first day at Laboremus Uganda. Photo cred: Maren Hald Bjørgum

 

“I was thrilled to make it through the catalyst course, proud of myself. So many things I had learnt during my time at the University now made sense. The hands-on approach that the facilitators took was helpful and the coaches always extended assistance especially in areas where I needed more help.

However, my eyes were set on the Bootcamp, because right there lay the ultimate challenge, working on a real client's challenge, developing a solution using all the principles that I had learnt. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I was so ready.” Grace recalls 

And then COVID-19 enveloped the world!

"When the lockdown was enforced in Uganda, and our classes had to be delivered online, it was right on time for the Bootcamp interviews. I, unfortunately, had moved to my home town in the village and the network challenges quickly became real. We had to take the Bootcamp interviews online. We allowed each student to select the day they were comfortable to have their interviews done within the stipulated timeframe. This meant that they were to find a place that was quiet and had a good internet connection to allow for a smooth flow of the presentation, Grace narrates.

“Because I was in the village, my network connection was so terrible, but the Refactory team was so kind they allowed me to select another date. This was such a humbling time for me because they waited till I was able to have a stable connection for me to have my interview. I doubt another organization would have done the same.” Grace says 

Long story short, Grace is now a scrum master at one of the best tech companies in Uganda, Laboremus Uganda and she desires to become a certified project manager.

We are incredibly proud of the progress has made in such a short time and can only wait for the world to see what magic she carries along her journey!

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