“The future is here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.” – William Gibson
We started Andela to chip away at a simple, though seemingly insurmountable, problem. The world needs millions more developers than we currently have.
Time and again, we’ve seen the leverage created for companies and countries by great engineers. But over the past decade, as the need has become increasingly obvious, the shortage of top-tier technology talent has only become more acute.
Four years and more than a thousand Andela developers later, the problem feels no less humbling — but it’s also coming into focus. As the war for talent continues, there’s one macro trend that is both enabling Andela’s growth and powering many of the companies that have found a competitive edge: distributed work.
Struggling to find strong developers? There are more great developers outside a 20-mile radius from your office than inside (yes, even you, Silicon Valley). Struggling to attract diverse talent? The world is more colorful than your city. Stuck on academic pedigree? This may sound crazy, but the majority of the world’s best engineers didn’t attend MIT or Stanford.
Combine these structural realities with an increasing ability to quantify the output of a given developer or team, and the trend becomes pretty clear: distributed is both part of the short term solution and a central fixture in the long term future of work. And if you’re a developer, you probably already know this because over 40% of you work remote at least part time already (and 80% say they prefer it).
When we started Andela, the reaction to the notion of distributed was usually coupled with general confusion (admittedly, the notion of doing software development in Africa was new to many as well). Today, after helping hundreds of companies advance their product roadmap through access to talent, questions around the concept of distributed and Africa rarely come up. Instead, the question has become: “We know distributed is part of the strategy – can you help us do it better?”
Increasingly, the answer has become yes.
In essence, over the past four years, Andela has evolved from a source of technical talent to a full cycle talent partner. We’ve done that by leveraging the data we’ve collected on developer fit as well as the systems we’ve built to monitor developer performance in order to increase the success of distributed teams.
Which brings us back to today. I’m proud to announce that Andela has raised a $100M Series D, led by Generation Investment Management, to continue building the infrastructure for the future of distributed work. One of the most successful investment management firms in the world, Generation has done deep research on the future of work, and their core thesis aligns with ours: one, it will be decentralized, and two, there won’t be enough technical talent to power it.
In short, we think William Gibson was almost right. The future is here — and it’s not fully distributed — but it will be.