Zuckerberg-backed firm Andela to lay off 170 junior Kenyan engineers
Published on: September 17, 2019 09:12 (EAT)
Andela, an incubation firm backed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), has announced its intent to end its young developer fellowship in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. The termination of the junior innovator program is expected to take down with it an approximated 420 developers with Kenya being set to lose a total of 170 developers. CZI is the personal foundation of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla. Andela Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Johnson has attributed the unprecedented culmination of its developer-mentorship program to growing demand of high quality engineering. “As part of this shift, we have also had to make an extremely difficult decision as it relates to a number of talented junior engineers. We don’t believe we’ll be able to find meaningful work for (them) over the next year,” he said. Even so, the firm has committed to supporting the transition of the affected talent through its partnership of local innovation hubs among them Kenya’s iHub with view to connect impacted developers with future opportunities. In the place of the departing 420 developers, Andela is set on hiring an estimated 700 senior developers by the end of 2020 in a means to keep up with the demand from partners. At the same time, the incubator hub has shifted its junior program to its soon-to-be established Andela Learning Community which is set on impacting and estimated 30,000 learners in software engineering fundamentals. While the slash on young talents by the firm will be a great miss to junior software developers, Andela has not be short of criticism with some in the developer community viewing the firm as predatory in its hiring of talent. “The end of the program is easily attributable to the ‘big time’ clients they are getting at the moment. The company has always been out to source for cheap labor with innovation only happening at the crossroads of profit maximization,” a source told Citizen Digital on the basis of anonymity.