Nigerian Developers are not Underskilled

by | Aug 31, 2015

They just have bad work ethics.

There is a forever ongoing debate about whether or not Nigerian developers receive appropriate compensation. The common sentiment amongst those in the “Nigerian developers are not underpaid” camp is that, depending on their general skill set, they actually get what they deserve.

But if Iyin and Jeremy of Andela have taught us anything, it’s that Nigerian developers actually have the propensity to be world class, given the right opportunity. If you ask me, the “right opportunity” goes beyond a fellowship with Andela. It could also mean being exposed to incrementally challenging projects that would stretch their limits. Perhaps this is where Nigerian developers are most deficient – work ethics.


During an interview with BudgIT founder, Seun Onigbinde, he shared some thought on how is company manages to find and retain developer talent:

I don’t think employability (of Nigerian developers) is the problem. I think the problem is with work ethics. I’ve had time to work with developers with entirely poor work ethics. Perhaps because they feel invincible, like you can’t find any person better. It’s always tiring for me because I feel as a professional, you should be able to get your job done on time. If you cannot handle the scope of work, don’t take it. That’s always the big problem I have. For the ones we are able to retain, we try to incentivize them enough. We also support them in their private projects, as long as they don’t conflict with our line of business. We do this in a bid to retain top talent. You know as developers they just want to swag and do their thing. You don’t want to restrict them. There are people in the industry that can poach them for more than 3 times what we pay devloepers here. We are in a very competitive environment in Yaba. And if you even look at what Andela currently charges for developers, you’ll know that as a startup in this space, you can’t really afford that.

What’s your take? Are Nigerian Developers seriously underskilled or do they just have horrible work ethics?

Múyìwá Mátùlúkò
Múyìwá Mátùlúkò

Chief Servant. I bully myself because I make me do what I put my mind to.

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