Dart Senior Manager Education Programmes Glenda McTaggart, left, with Code Cayman's Brandon Caruana and Fawne Taylor. Dart's Minds Inspired partnership with Code Cayman includes the donation of 15 laptops, shown here in boxes.

Coding to solve a problem

Software developers love to solve problems.

Code(Cayman), a non-profit organisation that designs and hosts software coding programmes, is working to solve a big problem, specifically that there aren't enough qualified Caymanians to fill the technology needs of the local business community.

Code Cayman hopes to help develop the Cayman Islands into a technology centre by offering training and education programmes aimed at inspiring young people to break into the technology sector by learning to code.

"Instead of importing computer engineers needed for tech companies, we think locals can be trained to fill much of the need," says Brandon Caruana, director of Code Cayman.

That belief aligns with Dart’s Minds Inspired education programme, which is partnering with Code Cayman to encourage exploration in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Minds Inspired understands there is a greater need for technology education in Cayman and sponsoring Code Cayman will help fill this gap,” says Dart Senior Manager Education Programmes Glenda McTaggart. “As technology advances rapidly, so does the need for the skills that drive this progress.”

The partnership includes the donation of 15 laptops for Code Cayman’s tech lab as well as hosting informational sessions for high school students and a summer coding camp.

Through Code Cayman, anyone in the community can take a course and learn more about technology. Organisers hope that this highly accessible resource will lead more people to pursue careers in technology.

One of the unique elements of the organisation is the role that mentors play in educating participants. Even young adults can become mentors, as Daval Gregory, software developer at Harmonic Fund Services, did.

“I thought it was a great initiative to push STEM and software development in Cayman, so I reached out while I was away in school to learn more,” he says.

Once Gregory graduated from the University of Technology in Jamaica in 2020 and moved back to Cayman, Caruana invited Gregory to become a mentor at Code Cayman and teach "Intro to Programming."

Gregory, who graduated from John Gray High School and then completed his associate's degree in computer science at the University College of the Cayman Islands before going on to earn his bachelor's degree, is now pursing a master’s degree in cyber security with a focus in computer forensics through the EC-Council University online. He says Code Cayman students can easily relate to him because "I was in their shoes just a few years ago.

"When I share my experiences, it encourages them to think, ‘If this guy can do it, then if I work hard, I can do it as well.’”

Gregory says he enjoys being a mentor and informing students about career opportunities in technology, but that it's also a way for him to "pay it forward."

“When I was attending UCCI, I was placed with a mentor who is a senior audit manager at EY,” he says. “He took the time to work with me and show me what it was like working in corporate life. I feel like I had a great head start, so now it’s my turn to give that same level of loyalty to ... anyone who comes by our lab and needs help or guidance."

Gregory says Code Cayman can help young people find a rewarding career path.

“It's important for young Caymanians to know that there are other successful career opportunities aside from being an accountant or a lawyer.”

To learn more about Code Cayman, visit codecayman.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of the Camana Bay Times. 

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