Telling the Kenyan Story Through an EPIC Journey
The silicon valley story is commonly told as the best thing that happened to the world of technology. Well, while silicon valley has indeed started most of the technological advances enjoyed in the world today, many more tech startups are coming up across different parts of the world. One such tech-innovation centre is Andela, born and grown in Africa. Andela started in Nigeria as a software development company, helping young, passionate and innovative Africans hone their skills in software development and work with global companies to leave a mark on the tech space.
Currently, the company has offices in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, where it is changing the African narrative, one software developer at a time. The company was successfully incubated in Lagos in 2014 and has since attracted the attention of global tech giants such as Facebook and Google who have become its partners.
What Makes Andela Kenya Tick?
Andela Kenya has been in existence for two years now. Led by Joshua Mwaniki, Kenya’s Country Director, it has been able to recruit developers in 20 cohorts. Each recruitment cycle accepts 12-15 developers, who are placed in a cohort. Currently, Andela has about 250 employees in Kenya, in only two years.
Andela’s vision is to empower the next generation of technology leaders across the globe. The company aims to impact as many people as possible. Mr Mwaniki adds, “Andela is filling a skills gap in Kenya. For example, the government has an ICT roadmap with an emphasis on infrastructure but there is no one talking about skills since no one is looking to build highly skilled people. So, even if we have the best infrastructure, we will have to import skilled people and these are not people who have an intrinsic knowledge of the market. So we need to get people ready for the next challenge.”
With this goal ahead, Andela is looking for people with a passion for technology. It doesn’t matter what a person’s educational background is. What this means is that Andela is not specifically looking for people with a degree in computer science. Instead, Andela is interested in working with young people who are passionate about technology and want to shape the future of Africa’s tech space through software development.
So, How Do You Join the Andela Fellowship?
First, Andela recruits passionate young people for the fellowship on a monthly basis who are taken through a rigorous process of recruitment that is in 4 stages.
The four stages of recruitment are:
- Those interested in Andela go through the a home study curriculum which is accessible to all on their website. In Kenya, the curriculum has 10 modules, based on Python, the software development standard that Andela uses for testing.
- The potential recruits are then sent a a psychometric test and a technical test based on the curriculum.
- Those who score highly are invited for interviews where they are assessed for their ability to fit into the Andela culture and their technical capabilities.
- Those who qualify are invited for a boot camp at Andela for 2 weeks, which is a fast-paced learning environment facilitated by developers at Andela. After the 2 weeks, the highest performing participants are accepted to join Andela.
On joining Andela, developers start earning a living immediately! The developers are taken through an initial 6 month immersion where they undergo simulated training and product development and then later begin to work with Andela’s global partners.
Life at Andela Kenya
Andela Kenya is a close-knit community of bright-minded young people who want to make a difference. Some of the benefits employees get on joining Andela are breakfast and lunch as well as a macbook because Andela believes in giving its employees the best facilities to work with.
The best part about working at Andela is the fact that you are employed to learn and work with top global tech companies.
Andela is keen on helping young people to grow and take ownership of their careers and as such, has developed systems which help people grow and achieve their dreams together.
If that is not enough, then maybe you are the kind of person who likes to work with global teams and Andela gives you just that. After the first 6 months, developers in the fellowship start working with Andela’s global partners on their teams. . This means that you are placed on a team in a certain company and you get to work with the team remotely. Moreover, since the teams are global and spread across different time zones, you get flexible working hours so you do not always have to fight with the morning traffic if your team requires you to work later in the day or at night.
Within the Andela office is an awesome working environment, where you can unwind by playing games in the game room, you can choose to snooze in a room set aside for relaxation, and the best part is, you get to manage your own time. According to Janet Njoroge, the People and Culture Manager, “Andela hires the right people and so gives them the autonomy to exploit their full potential. Every day is a learning day at Andela. Additionally, Andela holds regular barbeques, fair days, and quiz nights which allows employees to interact and have fun.”
If you are keen on working at a place with a great culture then Andela is the place for you,driven by its EPIC values which stand for excellence, passion, integrity and collaboration.
Feel like Andela is the ideal environment for you career to take flight?