How to Earn While Learning (in Kenya)

JJ people have set up a Java Development Centre in Nairobi, Kenya and are looking for people to join them to become professional software developers writing Java code for clients spread across Europe, Canada and North America.

They look to have a very sweet deal: basically, you sign up with them to receive FREE training in java.  After you complete introductory level training, they will pay you to learn with them following which they will then offer you a three year as a java developer working with their clients from Europe and North America.  Now, I don’t know about you but that does sound too good to be true.  


Guess what? It’s not too good to be true.  This is the real deal.  In my view it’s the quickest and easiest path to becoming a software developer (and get paid while doing it).  I have the good fortune to have a good friend currently in the JJ people program and he agreed to an interview.  So without much further ado, I bring to you, Paul.

How did you find JJ People?
I found the JJ people opportunity through the help of my big sister.  She saw the advertisement in the newspaper, and knowing how much I enjoy using computers, she suggested I sign up.  So she helped me draft a letter which I sent through email with my CV attached.

How easy was it to get in?
Getting in was easy, the hard part was waiting for my username and password.  I remember I waited for a month, calling the JJ people HR Manager everyday asking about my username and password.  After two weeks, I had lost hope of joining.  After four months, I finally got the email from JJ people and that same night, I finished the first module.

What is your experience like?
When I frist went to the office(situated at Augustana College Building – on your way to Karen along Ngong Road), I saw all these older people, very active at researching and coding.  I knew it had been some time since I did Java, but I always have preferred it over any other programming language. So that same day, I had to borrow a huge book on Java programming from a friend. Since I was coming to the office once a week, it took me two months to finish the second module(Java fundamentals) as I was studying Java all over again.  After finishing that module, it was easy street. 

At JJ people you meet all kinds of people.  Those who have had years of experience in Java, those who are starting out. T hose who are in it for the money (eventually most have quit midway module two).  At the main office, you get to meet those who have gone through the whole training and are know either Senior developers, Developers or trainees doing projects for the company.  The training has helped me think outside the box more when it comes to java. This is my 4th week at JJ people and what I’ve learnt, no university or college in Kenya can match.

Best moment so far?
I don’t think I have had a particular best moment at JJ people because everyday, walking into that office and sitting at my laptop is a good moment for me.  At JJ People, not everyone is the “serious type”.  You will find the IT Manager, Mr John Dickerson, talking to students and sometimes complaining out loud.  But with the friendly environment comes work.  You must work hard to achieve that 3 year contract you want with JJ People.

Worst moment so far?
Once when I was the only one caught on facebook (people are supposed to be working and not chatting. Yet half the room was on facebook).  Also another time when I was accused of copying someones idea. Sincerely, if the question read the same, they also gave the names of the methods to use………to me, it’s not copying, I simply learnt from the person’s idea.

Any advice for people looking to join?
If anyone wants to join, join. But I must warn you, join if you know what you want. If you have a passion for Java and you want to further develop it, join. There will be people greater at Java than you, but in the end its all about understanding because later on, you apply what you have learnt in previous tasks.

What do you hope to achieve at JJ people?
I joined JJ people because I wanted to learn.  That is my main reason after which is the pay.  But all in all, my dream job is working at EA(Electronic Arts) in Europe.  So my next part-time task is learning 3D programming and 3D animation.  I find a job to learn more than to earn. Most of the cases people quit jobs because of the pay and not because of the skills they acquire.

Enough said. Here’s the link to the JJ People website, click and go. Please leave a comment telling us what you think of this.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree

  2. Paul, how long have you been at JJ people?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I completed all the modules in 3months and signed up the contract. Am already working on a clients project. I like my Job. I have never acquired so much skills in within such a short duration of time.

  4. im finding some of the exercises abit headcracking goldmmann2000@yahoo.com

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey,i have good knowledge in vb.net.Can i apply in jjpeople.

  6. Hey paul…I did all the modules succesfully n opted nt to sign the contract.
    I was lyke u be4(thinkin no other campus/colle/institution matches jj) but
    to say the truth ur wrong! I got emplymnt at some place n they use all
    tht jj perpetuates to preach…Wht I’ve learnt is..if u’r indeed gud n willing
    to learn n u have google…u can learn all you want with tyme…The jj deal
    is not as sweet as it sounds..was gettin more pay as intern thn some employees
    there!

    • Wow, I didn’t know this. But as Paul says below, sometimes it isn’t about the money, ama

      • Yap, thats what makes people miserable in future, you work in a crappy job to be paid alot(at that time), then you complain in future when you are still in the same job that the pay is less. Why not gathe all the experience and skills now, then apply for a job with the right to demand your salary

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone who can help me with module I ? I am experiencing problems

  7. The jjdeal is not about money, its about geting the skill. If ur after the money, then ur good at where you are, I am happy learning where I am because I will gain skills and later on demand any type of salary I want 🙂

    • now now my friend ur lost…Who told u ur the only one gaining experience?..ur the losing one here..ur learning bt @ very low pay on the other hand I am bt @ gud pay…N tyme also flows ur aging n its IT for christ’s sake..who would employ u whn ur 34 evn with oll the experience uv got?….be wise n graze around…those guyz are just out to exploit kenyans!!

      • There two types of people, those who want to be employed and those who want to employ. You can work for your money now, but I bet you I can create better applications than you in more languages. I give you 8 months, if you are still in the same place earning the same salary, then we’ll see who gets the last say

        • More languages? Is JJ people not for Java only?

          • Its for Java only, but you are encouraged to learn more languages. I now know C++ and php properly

            • ssembatya denis says:

              hey am a Ugandan interested in the java development signed up at jjpeople website but password daynt allow me to log in, more info abt the jjp staff. and plz paul can u send me ur email or follow me on FB am ssembatya denis ugandan.

  8. Hi everyone just wondering if the jjp deal is still on

    • I am not sure. I have not seen them doing interviews. I have to get more info

    • jjpeople is still on but they have commercialized the training in that you have to pay to submit the exercises.. you can check it out on tunaweza.com

  9. Nancy nduta says:

    I thing they can do better than dat

  10. Are the jj guys takin new recruits and also can any1 out there suggest or help me get an attachment/internship relating to java programming language. i’m good at programming with java

  11. Kritiko Kenyan says:

    I have been in JJPeople since 2008. In my opinion, just like a 1l glass with only 500ml of milk, its all about how you decide to look at it. I decide to look at the jj’s deal as a glass half full.
    Let me outline the pros and cons of joining JJPeople.

    PROS
    – You learn Java almost comprehensively after that you may opt to do Sun Java Certification – thats really good if you want to be a java programmer

    – Reliable internet access for research

    – You get a laptop, if you get to stage 3, you can be allowed to “own” it

    – If you are an entrepreneur, you can do lots of outside projects (that do earn good cash), and still wait for your cheque at the end of the month (which might look like loose change compared to what your own projects earn you)

    – At the end of the three year contract, a standard Java Developer’s salary (as per international standards) is around $60K per year – around 400,000 kenya shillings per month. Check http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Skill=Java/Salary

    CONS
    – Midway of the contract (1 and a half years or less), you can get a job paying as high as Kshs 100,000 Too bad you can’t go there coz you are tied by a damn contract.

    – The salary at JJ people is that of a trainee – so not the kind of salary that makes you say you are in employment – I prefer to say I am still in school. – but its better than being in college. 🙂

    – If you want out on the contract, you must pay the company Kshs 700,000 (which reduces by 20K every month you are with them). So if you are there for 10 months, and you decide to go, you will pay 500,000/=

    Take these into consideration before signing the contract.

  12. ssembatya denis says:

    hey am a Ugandan interested in the java development signed up at jjpeople website but password daynt allow me to log in, more info abt the jjp staff. and plz paul can u send me ur email or follow me on FB am ssembatya denis ugandan.

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