Outside of New York City and San Francisco, our largest market is Austin, TX. Not surprising considering the massive amount of technology growth the city has experienced over the last decade. With nine Andela developers visiting their Austin-based partners from Lagos, Nigeria, it only made sense to celebrate with drinks and a lively panel in The Zebra’s gorgeous new office overlooking the Colorado River.
Last Thursday we gathered local tech leaders and entrepreneurs for a panel event called “The Future of Work Will Be Distributed: How Austin Startups and Nigerian Developers are Leading the Charge.” The panel consisted of Jeremy Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of Andela, Meetesh Karia, CTO of The Zebra, Thomas Martin, Director of Technical Operations and Partnership Engineering at Fathom, and Andela Developer, Kosy Anyanwu, flying all the way in from Lagos, Nigeria. Coincidentally, it happened to be Kosy’s two-year anniversary working with Andela!
Jeremy kicked off the discussion asking how many people in the room were having issues finding adequate local talent to build their engineering teams. As you can probably imagine, most of the room raised their hands.
Unfortunately, they’re not alone — in the United States there are currently 5 open jobs for every software developer looking for one and 70% of tech jobs are expected to go unfilled by 2020. When asked why they began working with Andela, however, Thomas and Meetesh said that technical hiring challenges were only one aspect — really, it’s because their companies feel strongly about scaling with a distributed team.
Thomas doesn’t just talk the talk, but he walks the walk as a distributed team member based in Kansas City, MO while the rest of the Fathom team is in Austin. Thomas and Meetesh both touched on the positive cultural effect Andela has had on their teams, and the ease of integrating their Andela Developers as full-time employees.
We then opened up the forum to questions which ranged from why Lagos and Nairobi, to the challenges distributed team members can face. But one thing was evident throughout: People were excited about the prospect of working with developers in Lagos and Nairobi. To learn more about Andela and what we can do for you, visit Andela.com.