Andela, a tech firm that “invests in Africa’s most talented software engineers to help companies solve the technical talent shortage,” announced that it would lay off 400 of its developers. This is the largest lay off of tech employees in Africa.
Jeremy Johnson, the CEO and Co-Founder of Andela said in a bid to reassure that the employees were not left hanging that, “The well-being of our employees, both past and present, is our immediate priority. We are providing holistic support programs for those who are affected by this shift, including ongoing access to learning programs and job placement services… Once an Andelan, always an Andelan”.
Andela was started five years ago with the aim of connecting African software to developers to opportunities they’d not get. However, Andela’s goal might have shifted slightly and has leaned more towards “experienced talent” who can provide “high quality engineering-as-a-service”. This slight change led to Andela searching for mid-level and senior level engineers.
While the junior developers might get absorbed into other companies, how does this change the dynamics of tech on the continent? If junior developers are not given the opportunity to grow to become mid-level or senior developers, there could be a waste of talent, which many African governments don’t know what to do with.
Andela’s total funding is $181 million, and for the first time released its annual revenue, which stood at $50 million. With plans to recruit more mid-level and senior engineers to meet up with demand, Andela plans to hire 700 more engineers by 2020. According to Johnson, “Andela’s next phase of growth requires a strategic shift in how we think about talent”.
Andela works with more than 200 of the world’s most respected companies, and for the five years of its existence, it is considered the most elite engineering organisation in Africa.