I just received a note that Andela has announced the “departure” of about 420 junior engineers as part of a restructuring. The company wrote, “Andela is now working with all impacted and potentially impacted employees and is committed to providing a holistic professional and financial support package.” In July 2017 when I wrote that extremely popular article – The Andela Problem -, I predicted that a day like this will come by relying on the Andela strategy.
Sure, I have not even run anything, so you need to be bold (academically) to tell a $700 million company, in Africa, to change strategy. As Andela cuts these junior engineers, “Andela continues to grow rapidly with plans to hire an additional 700 experienced engineers by the end of 2020”. Watch the word “hire”, the very reason why I have written that Andela is now amazing: it has reduced its marginal cost issue by making itself a specialized hiring agency where it can hire experienced people, unbounded and unconstrained, and put them into projects with no pretense that it has to train them internally!
Yes, that is an inflection point as the press release (below) confirms: “we have reached an inflection point that has required a change in strategy, which is why we are announcing these changes to our talent strategy.”
The Andela Problem piece was challenging as many made it a personal thing – the attack on LinkedIn was close to the day I wrote that old Konga should sell itself. And when Konga sold itself in about a month later, they came back and apologized. Andela is superb today – it has practically fixed all the issues I pointed out. Now, it is all the way to unicorn in two years!
Wishing these young people grace to find new jobs.
The Press Release
Andela, the company that builds distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software engineers, is announcing the departure of approximately 250 junior engineers and staff from its Nigeria and Uganda hubs with another 170 potentially impacted in Kenya. The move comes as the company looks to restructure its talent pool to more closely align with global market demand.
Andela is now working with all impacted and potentially impacted employees and is committed to providing a holistic professional and financial support package.
In addition, the company is partnering with CcHUB (Nigeria), iHub (Kenya), and Innovation Village (Uganda) to help connect impacted developers with opportunities in their local ecosystems. Together, they have identified over 60 companies who are looking to hire top quality junior engineering talent. These hubs will also offer impacted engineers the opportunity to use their co-working spaces free of charge for the next three months.
Jeremy Johnson, Andela co-founder and CEO says: “As the talent world has evolved, we have as well, and over the past few years it’s become increasingly clear that the world needs what Andela provides: high-quality engineering-as-a-service. It has also become clear, however, that the majority of the demand is for more experienced talent, and to keep up with it, we need to grow our senior talent base even faster.
“This shift in demand also means that we now have more junior talent than we are able to place. This is a challenge for the business, and for these junior engineers who want, and deserve, authentic work experiences that we are not able to provide.”
Beyond this restructure, Andela continues to grow rapidly with plans to hire an additional 700 experienced engineers by the end of 2020. Today’s announcement will not affect Andela customers’ operations, as the company evolves to deliver even stronger engineering support for their teams.
Omowale David-Ashiru, Andela Nigeria Country Director says, “We’re proud of what we have achieved at Andela in five short years; we know the impact we have made both in Nigeria and globally. However, we have reached an inflection point that has required a change in strategy, which is why we are announcing these changes to our talent strategy. Our immediate focus is on providing practical support to those employees who are impacted by the restructure, and we will provide them with the resources they need to succeed in their next steps”.
Moving forward, the company will continue to invest in the Andela Learning Community (ALC), which has already introduced over 30,000 learners from across the continent to software engineering. Over the next three years, the company expects over 100,000 engineers from across the continent to take advantage of programs within the community.
Johnson concludes, “Five years ago, we launched Andela to solve a global challenge: Brilliance is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. To succeed in our long-term mission, we have to make tough decisions to continue growing a company that we know will change the way the world thinks about talent.”