Despite the emerging trends in the digital ecosystem in Africa, the reality has been that many African developers were yet to benefit from the growing opportunities around them largely to the fact that there was little to no structured system to support tech entrepreneurship in Africa, until now.
While the original tech bro referred to the “cool kids,” especially but not exclusively men, working in tech sectors like Silicon Valley, the phrase has now trickled down to software developers. programmers or more recently coders — People who create a computer, mobile software.
The original tech bro described a software engineer with a misogynistic bent, this is due to “Tech bro” being one of the smear nicknames given by the media against Mr. James Damore, who wrote an internal memo describing the sex differences between women and men. It is important to note those are not who I talk about in this piece.
What I am talking about, however, is the growth of the developers’ space in Africa. There are an estimated 690,000 professional software programmers in Africa with more than half of these coming from South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria. Kenya sits at 4th with 58,866 programmers.
With the onset of Covid-19, the importance of capable programmers in the continent skyrocketed, and so did their value, companies had to budget heavily for digitization in an era where every business was heading online.
As a result, more and more bros with the passion to become developers are now seeing other programmers get their flowers and with the help of YouTube, online courses, and companies like Andela, more and more Africans are signing up to learn how to write code.
Most Common Problems Tech Bros face
Working as an independent mobile, web, and software developer in Africa, or as a group is no longer frowned upon, however, we still live in an environment that tech equipment costs almost two times than what it does in Europe and North America, tech bros still face a lot of problems in this fairly new industry, I compiled some here;
- Communication – some of the relatively new programmers can’t communicate for anything. They are rude, they are arrogant, and believe me, I won’t work with you no matter how good you are if disrespect is involved.
- Infrastructure – While some countries are doing better than others, physical infrastructure like electricity availability which is key is still lacking
- Payment Infrastructure – I think this is the most problematic, from Paypal closing down accounts belonging to Africans with no reason to problematic employers who just won’t pay for work done.
- Governments – Need I expound?
The challenges you face are not insurmountable, take comfort in the fact that you aren’t the only one. It is not easy being a software developer in the continent, but the light at the end of the tunnel has never been console.log(‘Brighter’);