Solutionist Thinking with RMB is a thirteen-episode podcast hosted by Bruce Whitfield and focusing on the great South African minds who are thinking differently and going against the norm. In the second episode, Whitfield speaks with WeThinkCode founder, Arlene Mulder.
After seven years in investment banking, Arlene Mulder quit her corporate job and broke loose to create a space where young South Africans could learn to code.
That space is WeThinkCode_, a tuition-free tech institution that aims to teach young South Africans to solve problems through creative coding and software engineering.
If I can dream up a solution, I could just actually build it.— Arlene Mulder, founder of WeThinkCode_
Coding, which Mulder succinctly describes as the “tool and language you use to talk to technology”, is something that she had exposure to as far back as high school and through university.
But it was while she was working as a dealmaker at Rand Merchant Bank that she really put her skills to use, developing solutions to speed up simple but time-consuming tasks.
It takes a bit of time to create the first solution… But you can theoretically do this a million times with no additional time spent.— Arlene Mulder, founder of WeThinkCode_
Mulder’s exposure to both the investment banking world and the tech world stands her in good stead. She understands businesses’ needs, and the skills required to get them there.
And so, in 2015, she left banking to run her own enterprise – to teach young South Africans to solve problems through code.
How do we find people who are talented in technology? And how do we not just teach them to code, but how do we enable them to learn how to use coding to solve problems, which is a completely different mindset?— Arlene Mulder, founder of WeThinkCode_
Mulder, it is clear, is thrilled by the thought of new ideas and seemingly impossible challenges – and she already has her next challenge lined up.
She is currently working on a new business concept – one she has called Toybox.
We’re bringing together this agency of inventors.— Arlene Mulder, founder of WeThinkCode_
Mulder knows that there are South Africans with potentially revolutionary ideas that need a helping hand to get those ideas funded and out in the wild, and it is this challenge that Toybox aims to solve.
We want to create an ecosystem and a community where these ideas actually come to life.— Arlene Mulder, founder of WeThinkCode_
“How do we enable these incredibly talented, creative, diverse people with their great ideas to actually bring them to life?” Mulder asks.
Listen to her in conversation with Whitefield, as she discusses Toybox, the digital revolution, and why everyone is a creative.