TechInAfrica – Earlier this month, Africa-focused tech talent accelerator, Andela, announced its decision to lay off up to 400 of its junior engineers in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria.
“This has nothing to do with cost-cutting, or government policies—it’s a function of the market,” Chief Executive, Jeremy Johnson, admitted in a Facebook post. “We haven’t been able to scale remote, junior placements, in part because bootcamps and CS programs have grown rapidly over the past five years, and we’re no longer able to lead with a junior first strategy.”
Johnson also stated though he admitted that this decision has nothing to do with cost-cutting, Andela still has to gain profitability. They had to drop its training program which will improve its cost structure.
The local tech industry faces several immediate consequences regarding this company overhauling. Many junior developers are now in the market and even though there is enough demand from employers, companies need to provide additional development in soft skills, judgment, and solving real problems in teams.
“There’s enough demand from employers to absorb these developers—already many companies are raising their hands to hire them—but companies will also need to accept their role in talent development,” said Paul Breloff, co-founder of Shortlist, a tech recruitment firm based in Kenya and India.
However, the affordability problem arises. Developers trained by Andela have pricing that is set for servicing North American and European higher price clients. It makes Andela’s developers are relatively unaffordable for most local startups.
Furthermore, Andela’s developers are expected to relocate or work remotely for foreign companies or even emigrate for professional growth and higher salaries promised by companies hiring them.
Andela will also lose its youthful ‘startup’ appeal since it is transitioning to a more traditional outsourcing business model.
Andela is regarded as one of Africa’s best-funded tech companies, but it will yet shake up another market sector since they can make offers that most local startup cannot match and cause talent scarcity in the market.
Source: Quartz Africa