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The Amazing Andela Power of X

The Amazing Andela Power of X

In July 2017, I wrote  a piece titled “The Andela Problem” and partly concluded thus: “The business cannot scale outside the blue, because the revenue is the developer, and you cannot mass produce them. There is a space constraint on how many you can have in the offices. Sure – you have more offices, but that also increases cost. For the very fact that these workers remain with Andela, and not leaving, it will quickly run into carry-capacity” paralysis.

Then, few minutes ago, I received a note: “Andela just announced it has broadened its hiring criteria for Senior Engineers; whilst previously, the primary route was via the Andela Fellowship, as of today, Andela will also recruit mid and senior level engineers in 2019, as it looks to scale its operations. They will be hiring more senior engineers across each of their four hubs on the continent.” People, that is both evolution and revolution – Andela is now supremely amazing.

Andela is solving the global technical talent shortage by building distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software developers. In four years, Andela has hired over 1,000 software engineers out of more than 140,000 applicants and become known as the “Best Place to Work in Africa,” with tech campuses in Lagos, Nairobi, Kampala and Kigali. Backed by Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, CRE Ventures and Spark Capital, Andela is powering global engineering teams while catalyzing the growth of tech ecosystems across the African continent

The Andela Problem

That 2017 piece has been read more than 25,000 times with varying comments. Interestingly, few days ago, I received an invitation from Andela that it was going to unveil a new initiative – The Power of X.  I do receive many daily – so nothing special. But few minutes ago, the Andela people shared this press statement (I have reproduced the relevant portion).

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Andela, the company building distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software engineers, is recruiting mid and senior level developers in 2019, as part of a new Power of ‘X’ campaign, as it looks to scale its operations and meet growing demand. This comes as more companies seek to enhance their technology teams via distributed workforces.

Since its launch in 2014, Andela has received over 140,000+ applications to it’s Technical Leadership Program and has trained 1,000+ software engineers, who have worked with global companies including Safaricom, Invision, Viacom, and Skillshare. Andela now accepts applications from experienced software engineers who are proficient in Ruby, Javascript (React, Node, ES6+, Angular), Python (Django or Flask) and Native Mobile Technologies for iOS or Android. The move to recruit more senior technologists is an expansion of the company’s business model.

Andela engineers work on global challenges, within global engineering teams, yet play an important role in their local ecosystems. The 1,000+ Andela Software Engineers are central to Africa’s growing tech community, and are leaders or members of Forloop, Teencode, Startup Grind, Progate, Facebook Developer Circles, to mention a few. Andela is a gateway for experienced and talented engineers to become part of Africa’s most expansive network of technologists. Apply here for Senior Software Engineering roles at Andela.

Simply, Andela is looking for Senior Software Engineers. In other words, if you have the experience, Andela will hire you! Yes, you do not need to have gone through the Andela training system to be “andelaized” into the system. This trajectory is huge. It is huge because Andela can easily scale without marginal cost paralysis of having to train talent. Yes, it can find talent anywhere it wants without the construct that it must FIRST train before it can scale.

The Power of X is a brilliant pivot as the pool of talent is now unbounded and unconstrained for this category-king company. With capital, it can hire 10,000 people in a year and put them to work around the world. This is better than training mere 1,000 people in five years. Yes, 1,000 in 5 years – you cannot change the world at that pace.

If Andela had invited my practice after that piece, they could have arrived at this trajectory in 2017 instead of losing precious two years. That is what we do for startups around the world. But thank goodness, Andela is now unconstrained with a huge scalable advantage. I see this company listed in the New York Stock Exchange by 2024. It has a great business model now – and I can conclude with “The Amazing Andela”.


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