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Empowering Uruguay’s future workforce with AI

During the second cycle of Git Commit Uruguay, students learned the basics of AI and built their own AI-powered projects.

Empowering Uruguay’s future workforce with AI

The number of developers in Uruguay, as well as the number of repositories owned by Uruguayan developers and organizations, have been increasing every year on GitHub. In fact, in 2023, Uruguay welcomed its first AI lab to bring AI tools to companies and startups, and boost innovation throughout the country. The Microsoft AI Co-Innovation Lab is the first and only of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and third of its kind outside of the U.S. It’s no wonder that Uruguay is one of Latin America’s largest per capita software exporters, according to the International Trade Administration.

To help build an equitable tech landscape, GitHub launched Git Commit Uruguay in 2022. The program is designed to lower barriers to becoming a developer for high school students and recent graduates in underserved neighborhoods in Montevideo, the country’s capital.

What is Git Commit?

We’re not talking about the git commit that provides a snapshot of your repository. Git Commit, the program, is how we prepare high school graduates who are looking to gain a competitive edge in the job market.

As the global home for all developers, we recognize the pivotal role that diversity, inclusion, and belonging play in sculpting the future of software development. Breaking down barriers is not only about technological progress, but also about socio-economic inclusion and widening the spectrum of developers contributing on GitHub. Our goal is for every Git Commit student to walk away with new tech skills, tips for job searching, and a portfolio of work that showcases their abilities.

Designed to provide students with training on the latest tools, the second cycle of Git Commit Uruguay launched in 2023 with a focus on AI. High school students and recent graduates in Montevideo, Uruguay learned the basics of AI, how to build their own AI-powered projects, and how to highlight these skills in their job search. Every student built their own website in the cloud and created a portfolio of achievement to highlight in their job search.

Upskilling in the age of AI

While the curriculum included critical core topics, such as mastering Git commands, creating repositories, managing project structures, and executing commits, the spotlight was firmly on GitHub Copilot and AI, mirroring the dynamic shifts and advancements within the broader tech landscape. We strongly believe that AI will transform the way the world builds software and we know these students can be a part of that transformation.

Placing a strong emphasis on diversity, two seasoned educators from Mexico and Chile were enlisted to ensure that language posed no obstacle in their learning journey.

An auditorium with stadium-style seating filled with a rapt audience!

The program featured a session with Elianne Elbaum, manager of the AI lab that opened in 2023. Students also engaged with Alejandro Pazos, Microsoft general country manager in Uruguay, who shared with them invaluable insights and advice.

Photo of a male student taken from behind. He is resting is cheek on his right hand, and the computer screen in front of him is on a website about GitHub Copilot. Further in the distance, there is a teacher gesturing toward a projector screen displaying text in Spanish.

Embracing AI in education

What commenced with 60 students in Git Commit Uruguay’s inaugural year evolved into a program that welcomed 105 eager learners from the lowest-income neighborhoods. This growth is a testament to the power of education, inclusivity, and the potential that resides within every student, regardless of their background.

Even more, it underscores the excitement and ability of all students to embrace AI in their education and career training. GitHub is working to secure internships with local companies to help graduates jumpstart their careers.

Today, as the creator and director of the program, I’m proud to share that Git Commit Uruguay surpassed expectations in 2023 and left a profound impact on the lives of these well-deserving students. This year also witnessed a remarkable expansion in participating institutions, growing from three to seven.

As we look forward, we are filled with hope and excitement for the future of these talented individuals, and the transformative impact they are destined to have on the tech industry.

A group of students wearing red t-shirts that read "Octogatos." They are holding certificates and standing in front of a large banner with a collage of GitHub stickers on it.

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