"In the next couple of years, developers in Africa will become one of the wealthiest people in Africa." Seni Sulyman
According to him, Andela is giving youth the tools to provide solutions for the many needs of the African society.
In his words, “We have discovered that if there is light, food and water, settling down to work won’t be a problem because there will be more time devoted to developing solutions our society needs. That is what Africa is depriving its youth of.”
“Young Africans with ideas are springing up. New waves of companies trying to solve different problems we face in diverse sectors of the economy such as health care, transportation, water, security, education, even end of life, almost every spectrum of our lives. Andela has developers trying to build these solutions.”
The Andela facilities include Andela’s Technical Leadership Program, free online resources, and Distributed Learning Committee (DLC), a network of over ten thousand people who share resources, and mentor each other daily.
Andela’s Technical Leadership Program
This is a 4 year technical leadership program for developers. Here, budding developers are trained in software development. Andela believes in building a network of technology leaders. When these developers conclude their program, they can choose to start their own startup then train people as well.
“If Andela can train a thousand people, these people can start their own startup then hire and train people as well, then we can move forward together, and get our own ecosystem better. They can instill the same skills, and culture. Get Africa to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world in technology”
How to get into the TLP
It’s quite easy, visit the website, andela.com/join that's where the journey begins.
“We have home-study curriculum, the equivalent of a Stanford base level computer science course, take the course and write the exams.
If the applicant passes they move to the next stage, which is programming and psychometric test, where we gauge the applicant’s IQ, personality,critical thinking, and problem solving abilities.
After this, the next level is to filter the applicants through an Andela algorithm, the successful applicants are brought in for an interview where we can get the chance to assess them one on one.
The next level is a week long boot camp where the applicants are put through rigorous tasks that will show their ability to work in teams, deliver before deadline, the project will put a lot of strain on them, to assess their mental toughness.
This tiresome process allows for them to be seen in different phases, and then the recruitment team picks applicants they feel have excelled.”
What happens next after concluding the TLP
“Once candidates have completed their technical leadership program, there are a couple of options. They could go ahead to start up their own companies, become entrepreneurs, tech or otherwise.
Another option is they can stick around to Andela company, help us develop softwares, stick around with us.
Global giants such as Google, Facebook or Microsoft currently don’t have in-country teams, these TLP graduates can become the first employees when these companies have a change of mind.
There is also a chance of going into public sector where they can make a difference.
We encourage them to go forth and conquer!”
“Andela has free resources online for people who are new to software development. We have also have DLC, Distributed Learning Committee, a network of over ten thousand people who share resources, and mentor each other daily.
We are also trying to put our learnings together on this Andela journey, so we can share this knowledge with everyone.”
Perks of working at Andela
Asides from the free food and snacks, developers are required to get an international passport because six months into the program, Andela applies for a U.S visa on their behalf.
“To be a world class developer, you need to be able to travel. Andela will help you get that taken care of, you may be on a project that requires you to travel, we don’t want to stand in that way, and we have a good approval rate from different embassies”
“We have offices in Kenya, Uganda, New York. We have programs that allows developers to work in this different places, like a Developer Exchange Program. We provide housing for these developers, they usually have a swell time during this, some write blog posts about the trip.
This allows them interact with other developers, learn their about their cultures, and share ideas.
You can play on a global field, One of our developers worked with Fareed Zakaria at CNN. We also send them all around for speaking engagements all around the world.”
Requirement to join Andela
“No academic qualification required! As a person, we’re interested in these four things.
1. How hungry you’re to achieve your goal.
2. How much grit you have, to persevere till you reach your goal.
3. How fast you can learn. (One developer asked Mark Zuckerberg, what do you look for when hiring people, he answered, their ability to learn. Technology is dynamic, learning is key.)
4. Feedback, how well you can take feedback. Take constructive criticism and be better at what you’re doing”
The Tech Global Playing Field
“Being a software engineer is global, the opportunities are abound. In the next couple of years, some of the richest people in this country will be developers. As of today, there is more money to fund ideas than there are people to build them.
Talent is in huge demand, Andela will not pay you the world but will give you the necessary skills to get what you want.
What we’re trying to do in Africa is to get people who are born here, raised here, who understand the issue and deep problems of the society, train these people, give them the necessary support to help them build solutions to our local problem and also solve global problems too.
We want local talents building global solutions. We’re serious about this”
"Right now, there are people with funds hanging around places where team members of tech giants like Facebook, Google and the likes go to hang out, to give them the necessary resources to build what the next big idea is.
The market for good idea is open and will always be.
In the next couple of years, developers in Africa will become one of the wealthiest people in Africa.”
One thing that is common around the world is people being stuck at the wrong job. There are people who would be excellent at developing world changing solution that are behind the counter processing transactions.
Andela wants to give people the chance to get the right knowledge to bring their dreams to life. Some of these ideas can be what will bring Africa to the table, If you’re such a person, Andela is waiting for you.