High school students become software developers with Melyaz

The meeting was attended by YASAD Chairman of the Board of Directors Gönül Kamalı, Secretary General of Istanbul Development Agency Erkam Tüzgen, Istanbul Provincial Director of National Education Levent Yazıcı, YASAD Board Member Fatih Acer, Software Industrialists Association Secretary General Sevilay Güven, MR Evyap MTAL Principal Barış Saygılı, managers of sponsor companies and vocational high school principals. 

YASAD Chairman of the Board of Directors Gönül Kamalı stated that they implemented the Melyaz Project in order to find a solution to the employment deficit problem of the software industry and said, "The rapidly developing digital transformation and pandemic process has increased the need for software since 2020. Of course, the growth of the market and the acceleration of investments have also offered significant opportunities to domestic software companies. However, policies that support the industry's workforce are needed to meet the increasing demands." Stating that software education should be lowered to high school level to solve the problems, Kamalı said, "Our aim in the Melyaz Project is to establish an unbreakable bond between vocational high schools and software companies and to bring young minds into business life as soon as they graduate. In our project, 400 students will be trained in 20 schools. We see this as a start. We believe that the model will create a permanent cooperation between software companies and vocational high schools." 

Sevilay Güven, Secretary General of YASAD, gave information about the details of the project. Güven reminded that the software industry grows by an average of 20 percent every year and has an employment deficit and said, "The annual quota of our universities providing computer engineering education is 10 thousand students. Of course, not all 10 thousand students graduate after 4 years and not all of those who graduate prefer the software industry." Güven pointed out that according to the Turkey Software Inventory Project carried out by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey in partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Technology and in which YASAD is a stakeholder, there are 70 thousand IT and software personnel registered in our social insurance institution and said, "In the same project, we have 22 thousand companies that define themselves as software producers. However, the employment deficit of our industry and software companies is 200 thousand software developers." Underlining that the employment deficit is not a situation specific to our country, Güven noted that the employment deficit of the industry cannot be solved with only university graduates. Güven explained that the biggest problem in reducing software education to high school level is that rapidly developing technologies cannot be included in the curriculum immediately, and told the story of the project as follows: "With the personal initiative of Fatih Acer, a member of the Board of Directors of YASAD, his work with Mehmet Rıfat Evyap Vocational Technical Anatolian High School for 5 years inspired us in our search for a model. The Melyaz Project aims to enrich the curriculum studied by 11th grade students by pairing each high school with a sponsor software company and to make them ready for business life when they graduate by having their compulsory internships in the 12th grade within this company. Our schools included in the project have been selected primarily among our institutions with IT departments and IT teachers." 

The Melyaz Project carried out by YASAD is supported by the Istanbul Development Agency 2022 Children and Youth Call. The stakeholders of the project, which is carried out in partnership with Istanbul Provincial Directorate of National Education, include Service Exporters Association (HIB), Istanbul Topkapı University and Turkish Game Developers Association (TOGED). At the beginning of the 2022-2023 academic year, 20 students from each school will receive training within the scope of the Melyaz Project through an exam to be applied in the project schools. In the second step of the project, as of February 2023, technical training will be provided 8 hours a week in high schools matched by the software companies on their products and software. The students who receive training will do a 1-year compulsory internship at the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year at the host companies and association member companies.