The Andela Metamorphosis – Marketplace of Software Developers

The Andela Metamorphosis – Marketplace of Software Developers

This is a complete redesign, Andela has radically changed its playbook. The software developer placement company began with an aspirational vision of making developers out of young people, and placing them into amazing global entities. Then, it pivoted into a decentralized software developer boutique, unbounded by geography, unlocking more potential experienced developers. But the new move is surprising. Simply, Andela is now a marketplace for software developers. I will not write a “gig company” because there is nothing “giggy” when you make fat money as a developer.

This is worth discussing and in Tekedia Live coming up this week, we will examine Andela and what founders could learn from this firm. Since I wrote that piece, The Andela Problem, I have been tracking how this company is evolving to overcome challenges it meets on the way: “Andela has resolved to turn all the employed developers on its books to contractors – who will only be paid for work done and not a monthly salary as the company has been doing before now”.

Yes, the original playbook keeps changing and that is what it could take to do business in a nascent sector. WeeTracker explains what is happening.

The latest entry in the ‘Andela evolution’ journal spells out fresh information on the metamorphosis of the startup from talent school to talent marketplace.

After going fully remote and welcoming external engineers into the Andela fold as contractors, Andela has confirmed to WeeTracker that it would “no longer be supporting a paid bench.”

A well-placed source had earlier told WeeTracker that Andela has resolved to turn all the employed developers on its books to contractors – who will only be paid for work done and not a monthly salary as the company has been doing before now.

That has been partly confirmed as Andela has now revealed that existing developers brought on as full-time employees at Andela are now allowed to become contractors.

It is understood that the startup will now operate a ‘gig economy-esque’ model where engineers will only be paid when they are engaged in work, but not when they are not.

Like I wrote in our class note: money cannot directly fix a tough market but money can help with a better business model to fix ways to unlock opportunities therein. Money can acquire knowledge, a very critical factor of production. Andela is doing all it can to create value and also capture value in a business which is still a demand-market, making it challenging that winners cannot be those that provide supply. Andela needs to invest to control demand so that it can allow optimal equilibrium to be reached in its orchestration more organically. Today, it is working at supply when winners today are those that influence demand.

Andela 2.0


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4 thoughts on “The Andela Metamorphosis – Marketplace of Software Developers

  1. Well, if the intent was to cut wage bill by yanking developers off the payroll, then it’s a brilliant idea; but with huge caveat…

    What competitive edge does Andela still have with this new model, its brand equity or existing long-term contracts it has with overseas clients? The new model makes it a developers’ market, so if Andela fails to offer competitive rates in its contract, will experienced developers even care to identify with its platform, when there are many rivals in the space it’s venturing into?

    More homework is still needed, if the stars must align; but let’s leave it here for now.

  2. Frankly, from my point of view, I really don’t think there is anything innovative about this move except off-course they “hope” it would bring in the alpha they are expecting from it or are anticipating.

    Except off course they have a different playbook, then they shouldn’t expect to pop the champagne just yet because there also other big dogs who are operating in the same space like these eg. Upworks, Fiverr etc. Not to mention the fact that their model caters only for gigs who are “developers”.

    In all, I think it’s a welcome development, but we will see how this new model goes as time goes on.

    1. If I was a developer, what use would it be signing such contracts with ‘Andela’ if I could literally stay on my own, promote myself and get paid for my skills at my pace? True it is an age of connectivity but it is important that you know what you are connecting and the general attitude of skilled workers. What do they intend to connect? customers or the skills? the best connectivity businesses are those who have the skill providers in their best clutchs and I don’t think these initiative helps that much with this. Skilled workers, especially of sensitive ones as developers are not easily tamed, therefore maintaining such lose connectivity with them would soon land the company into gross Innefectiveness. It might sound great at first but Watcout! this idea may n’t really work much in the space of web development or computer language programming.


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