This U.S Company is paying Nigerians to learn how to code


Today, U.S tech companies aren’t shy in claiming that they’re finding it hard in recruiting programming talent. In fact, it’s predicted that in 5 years there will be a shortage of more than a million jobs in computer programming in the U.S alone.

Now, Andela, a New York based company is seeking to recruit top yet affordable talent to fill this apparent void.

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In fact, they’re already recruiting Nigerians although plans to scout allover the continent are in the pipeline.

According to Johnson, one of the co-founders, brilliance is relatively spread throughout the human race, however opportunity isn’t. Andela finds the brightest young people in Africa and gives them the training and mentorship needed to thrive as full-time developers in return serving its businesses back in the States at a nominal fee.

Johnson, who previously founded the online education company 2U, launched Andela earlier this year, alongside Christina Sass, who has a background in non-government organizations, and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, a Nigerian entrepreneur who previously co-founded the online education companies Bookneto and Fora.

According to this article on Wired, Chibuzor Obiora, one of the few chosen beneficiaries of the scheme, found the opportunity too good to be true. The income generated from his current tenure with Andela at least is relatively higher than that as a former T.V anchor. The managers of the programming off-shoring firm are somewhat tight-lipped about the exact figures earned by the developers but they are bullish about the future of hiring – they are looking out for cheaper workforce but with a closely related skillsets, which they are ready to invest in through mentoring and bootcamps.

The operations range from online tutorial services like Codecademy to the dozens of “code bootcamps” that promise to get people job-ready in a matter of months. Andela puts a new twist on the bootcamp idea by moving them overseas—and paying people to participate. Geography is no master. Locations could differ but at the end of the day they promise their clients that services will be delivered, promptly.

Is U.S really short of talented programmers?

Keyword: H1-B visa: There have been clashes of late in the U.S about immigration laws. Tech luminaries such as Mark Zuckerberg have been frustrated by the deaf side of national policy for seeking immigration reforms. The need for H1-B visas is a dream come true for many big corporations. It means politer resettlement procedures by immigrants and less pressure on them. The immigrants most likely settle for income at or slightly above minimum wage which the natives would never opt for, even in times of recession. But this reform is still on the rocks and subject to the incessant red tape.

Fast forward, companies like Andela are co-opting with foreigners to circumvent the long arm of legislation. They’re out-sourcing their client’s work to equally talented manpower in Africa but at much lower rates.

It seems the narrative that there is a dearth of programming talent in the U.S is another well-orchestrated ruse at side-lining highly priced programming talent. Or perhaps this is a golden opportunity for Africans to prove their skills on the international stage.

Let the theories begin.

Image Credits: Yetunde Sanni, Nadayar Enegesi (standing), Kosi Anyanwu, and other participants of Andela’s female-only Boot Camp. By Mohini Ufeli for Wired