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Andela, a leading African engineering outsourcing firm, has undergone some drastic changes in the past few months. These include laying off junior engineers, going 100% remote, expanding across Africa, and transitioning from a hub for training developers to a marketplace for hiring developers.

Andela said it took these steps to cut costs and align with market trends and demands. But there is more on the transition of Andela.

Weetracker reports that Andela will “no longer be supporting a paid bench’.

What this means according to the report is that Andela “has converted 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.”

Henceforth, prospective contractors will now have to apply to join the Andela network unlike in the past when the software/engineering firm groom developers for months, pay them, and outsource them to companies across the world.

“As we started allowing engineers to apply to join the Andela network as contractors, one of the most common questions was whether existing engineers would be allowed to convert if they wanted to. We announced last week that we would be allowing engineers to choose whether they wanted to continue as full-time employees or convert to contractors,” the company explained.

“We will no longer be supporting a paid bench though, which means engineers will be paid when they are working, but not when they aren’t.

“We were offering the long-term contractor option to new recruits and recently extended this option to our existing engineers. At this time, Andela is not requiring any of our actively engaged engineers to transition to contractor status.”

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Will this new model attract Africans to Andela?

In 2014, Andela was founded with the mission to train African developers and offer them job placements in leading firms across the world. They did this for several years.

However, there was a decline in the demand for junior developers which Andela had a handful and an increase in requests for senior and more experienced hands. This prompted the software training firm to layoff junior developers.

Having invested millions of dollars in training them, it would definitely have been a tough decision to let them go. Then COVID-19 came, workers went remote. Consequently, Andela decided to go fully remote.

Understandably, these difficult decisions are meant to save Andela from crashing. But, with this new Andela which is now a marketplace for developers; young Africans may not be too enthusiastic to join because only the best and the most experienced will be contracted. In other words, there might be no place in Andela anymore for junior developers.

On the flip side, if you are lucky to get in, such a developer can still take on other gigs alongside that of Andela unlike in the past when you have to be fully dedicated to the company. This for the developer is an opportunity to earn more dollars.

In all, Andela which was founded by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Nadayar Enegesi, Christina Sass, Ian Carnevale, Brice Nkengsa, and current CEO, Jeremy Johnson, has contributed immensely to the training and employment of African developers.

Musa Suleiman
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