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Africa Developer Survey: The next frontier for global skills

The shift towards remote work has had a significant impact on IT developers across Africa, opening up new opportunities and enabling them to start working with some of the world’s largest companies. 

This is one of the key findings of Andela’s Africa Developer Survey, which polled over 1,000 developers across the continent in September last year.

The survey found that more than 80% of respondents think that their organization is very or somewhat prepared for remote or flexible work. This closely correlates with the 74% of developers who already work either fully or partially remotely. Almost all (95%) of those surveyed indicated that they felt that it had a positive impact on their work-life balance, their ability to focus on work, and their creativity.

Almost one-third of developers said they wouldn’t give up any of their current benefits or perks for the freedom to work anywhere or choose their work environment. However, the survey indicates that developers across the continent already have a great degree of flexibility in choosing their work environment, with 87% of respondents saying they have control over how, when, or where they work, with 50% working from home, 30% from co-working hubs, and only 20% from dedicated offices.

As a remote-first company, Andela is ideally positioned to show how talented technologists across the world can connect to opportunities, delivering the skills that companies need to drive their business objectives.

Startups are big in Africa

Startups emerged as the largest employer among the survey respondents (44%), followed by corporates (34%) and non-governmental organizations (15%). Of these, there is an almost even split between local (45%) and international organizations (55%) among the employers. 53% of those surveyed said they were employed full-time, with 20% indicating that they worked part-time.

Beyond those who work for start-ups, there’s a strong startup culture among developers on the continent, with more than one-third indicating that they’ve founded a startup. Education is the most significant focus of these startups, with 24% targeting this sector, with telecoms (16%) and fintech (12%) other popular industries for them to target.

A hunger for knowledge

This focus on education is evident in other areas of the survey, as there would appear to be a shortage of opportunities for formal training for developers across the continent. 77% of respondents indicated that they were self-taught, with free video tutorials (YouTube and Vimeo) being the most popular source (88%) of information. 60% of respondents indicated that they use premium video tutorials (e.g., Treehouse, Pluralsight, Udemy, and Coursera) for learning resources, with only 35% using formal learning programs.

When looking for assistance with development challenges, Stack Overflow (81%) and Help and Tutorial videos (74%) emerged as the most popular ways to get assistance with calling a co-worker or friend (45%) or “Do other work and come back later” (44%) the next two most popular options.

No strong preference emerged in relation to skills that developers were looking to learn, with Python (21%), JavaScript (17%), and Kotlin (14%) emerging as the programming language that respondents most wanted to learn.

Andela’s Learning Community provides a vital resource to this community, enabling the developer community to access the resources they need to expand their skill set and develop the range of services they provide. With Series E funding of $200 million and a valuation of $1.5 billion, the focus on the company is firmly behind ensuring that they can help build up the developer community.

Personal growth top of mind

Even though survey respondents were not actively dissatisfied with their current job – Very satisfied 14%, Slightly satisfied 27%, Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 28%  – 37% indicated that they were strongly considering changing their job. Growth or leadership opportunities (57%) was the largest reason for seeking a new job alongside better work/life balance (48%) and wanting to work with new technology (44%). 

The drive for continuous improvement is reflected in key criteria in potential new jobs, with career growth (73%) and opportunities for professional development (73%) topping the charts. 

As more organizations look further afield for their critical technical skills, the survey clearly shows a cohort of developers in Africa both capable and hungry to fill that need. 

Leveraging the power of Andela as a trusted networking and recruitment hub is critical in connecting these two communities that may have struggled to find each other in the past.

To find out more, download the Africa Developer Survey now and watch the Africa Developer Survey video!

Want to be part of the Andela Community? Then join the Andela Talent Network!

With more than 175,000 technologists in our community, in over 90 countries, we’re committed to creating diverse remote engineering teams with the world’s top talent. And our network members enjoy being part of a talented community, through activities, benefits, collaboration, and virtual and in-person meetups.

All you need to do to join the Andela Talent Network is to follow our simple sign-up process. 

Submit your details via our online application then…

Complete an English fluency test – 15 minutes.

Complete a technical assessment on your chosen skill (Python, Golang, etc.) – 1 hour.

Meet with one of our Senior Developers for a technical interview – 1 hour.


Visit the Andela Talent Network sign-up page to find out more.

If you found this blog useful, check out our other blog posts for more essential insights!

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