On Thursday, September 20, 2018, we made history at Andela. We launched the first set of Fellows who formed the earliest cohorts of developers we started with four years ago. The journey of these 21 awesome developers is the first peek at what the Andela Fellowship is about; their stories will form the foundation for thousands more and echo on for years to come.
The Story of Debbie
To humanize the massive impact these developers have created, let me share one of their stories.
Back in the Fall of 2014, we had just moved to our second office in the heart of Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria. Debbie’s family operated a confectionary store nearby, and she was there every day. When we moved into the neighbourhood, Debbie began to notice a few people donning shirts that bore “Andela Institute” and she got curious enough to try to find out what that was about.
“Oh, what do you guys do; like what’s on your shirt? What’s this thing?” she asked. She was told it’s a place you can come and learn how to program. She said, “Okay! Cool! I’d like to learn more”. Without any prior developer experience, she applied, went through the Bootcamp with 59 other participants; and got into Andela as one of three girls in a cohort of 22 people.
ExecOnline is still a proud Partner of Andela as a result of her work. As a result of the immense value she’s added to their team over the last 3 years, they explicitly requested to retain her as Senior Engineer as she completes the Andela Fellowship.
Our Gratitude for Support Systems
Debbie’s story embodies Andela’s EPIC values, but she’s not alone. Developers across Andela have stories that share common threads of longing for transformation, discovering Andela, self-belief, struggle, camaraderie, consistency, value-creation, and growth. The same is true of all the launching Fellows of 2018.
In 4 years of being at Andela, these 21 individuals have powered the growth and development of 47 companies. They have given collectively 126,000 hours of active work and through them, by proving that what Andela believed in was possible, they have laid the foundation for a powerful movement which will have recruited 1000 developers by the end of 2018. These are a thousand jobs that didn’t exist in 2014; and because of their good work, it was all made possible.
These stories wouldn’t exist without the supporting cast.
We are grateful for the family members who supported these developers. They provided with the resources that they needed to start learning software and encouraged them when they said it was too difficult. We’re also grateful for friends who told them about the Fellowship or who recommended us to them.
The same goes for our very supportive ecosystem — companies and leaders — that advocated for us. Some of you educated and advised us on how to start up and operate. Some of you put our ads on your job boards to help us recruit talent even before we existed. Some of you hosted us at your houses. Some of you gave us your facilities to work in. Without you, all these things would not have been impossible, and we’re grateful for all that support.
Back to the Mission
As these 21 leaders launch into the world this year (2018), I can say with pride that they are our proof of all that is possible when brilliance meets opportunity.
They will go on to build things and solve problems that will make the world better than before. They will lead with excellence, passion, integrity, and collaboration. Their work will extend opportunities to many more across the world.
That is the Andela way. That is why we’re energized coming into work every day to advance human potential by powering today’s teams and investing in tomorrow’s leaders.
P.S: Shout out to our launching Fellows:
If you would like to start your developer journey at Andela, you should apply to join the Fellowship.