The news has gone viral today, but few months back Andela gave hints to what just happened. The company building distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software engineers, today announced plans to release over 400 junior software engineers into the global workforce.
Andela’s moves is linked to the increase in demand for senior developers. TechEconomy.ng recalls that in May this year, Andela launched Power of “X” Campaign with a plan to recruit mid and senior level developers in 2019 as part of plans “to scale its operations and meet growing demand”.
“This comes as more companies seek to enhance their technology teams via distributed workforces”, Andela told reporters at their Lagos office in May.
Since its launch in 2014, Andela has received over 140,000+ applications to its Technical Leadership Program and has trained 1,000+ software engineers, who have worked with global companies including Safaricom, Invision, Viacom, and Skillshare.
Flip to September 2019, the outsourcing Software Engineering Company, focused on African talents, plans to end is D0 program in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda and plans to lay off 250 junior engineers across Uganda and Nigeria, and potentially, an additional 170 in Kenya, even as it announces hopes to surpass $50 million in revenue by the end of 2019.
The D0 program will be focused on Rwanda.
According to a company’s release, the layoff is a result of evolving of the market and company’s adaptation to meet the market’s demand which runs more in line of senior, more experienced, engineers, and the company has more junior engineers than it can outsource, as senior engineers make just about 25% of the engineers.
The company reports to have a pre-layoff number of over 1500 engineers on board, and while layoff usually spells economic crisis for companies, the CEO, Andela, Jeremy Johnson, assures that this is not the case with Andela.
“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’s also become clear, however, that the majority of the demand is for more experienced talent.”
According to his explanation, it appears that the usefulness of these junior engineers would be better appreciated in companies where their talent will be useful other than with Andela whose customers demand for mid-level and senior engineers. By the end of 2020, 700 additional engineers will have been recruited in the company.
The layoffs will be getting severance packages and assistance in getting new job placements.
The report shares, “we’ve partnered with innovation hubs in each country (CcHUB in Nigeria, iHub in Kenya, and Innovation Village in Uganda) to help connect the impacted developers with opportunities in their local ecosystem. Together, we have identified over 60 companies who are looking to hire top quality junior engineering talent. In addition, these hubs will offer impacted engineers the opportunity to use their co-working spaces free of charge for the next three months.”
As Jeremy shares that the $50 million revenue is a sign that the company offers value to its customers, the layoff should be a sign of the need for an upgrade in the calibre of engineers produced.
As more platforms focused on making the country focused on building software engineers, platforms like Semicolon, Decagon, Start.ng in Nigeria, and even Andela, the bar should be raised so the produced engineers will be able to meet the international market’s demand.
It is expected that the layoffs will be absorbed by local companies in the countries as there is a huge market for software engineers in the tech space.