The writer of the article fails to acknowledge that the engineers elevated it to where it is at. All the revenue it got was from the hard work of those engineers. Every upsell or recommendation Andela got from a tech company was because those engineers did more than was expected. The headline is another way of painting the founders as white saviours and to make people forget that this venture is no different from other BPO companies which take advantage of educated workers from developing countries and pay them peanuts. To frame exploitation as helping is disgusting.

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Great reporting and great read.

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Haha @ plantation. It’s funny because it’s very apt! The spirit in which the Company was built has since left the building. The treatment is not just to the developers. The way they treat their staff is highly unfair. On a plantation you have the house slaves and the slaves who work on the plantation. The house slaves feel like they’re better than the outdoor slaves and are brainwashed so much into thinking that way. There was always the Developer/Staff divide where some staff members felt superior to the developers and both groups never truly interrelated even in the cafeteria. Crazy. Then you have the house slaves who are so charismatic, those are the ones that were made mid to top/executive level staff. These people are the ones who are charismatic enough to sell the supposed “vision” to the plantation slaves (devs) and convince them to be on an engagement where they are sold as having a higher skillset than they actually do. Andela tells the client company that the dev is a D3 dev when in fact they are D1 or D2 and then they tell the dev to “ramp up” in a week or so while they close the deal. These plantation slaves then have to work twice as hard to please the client who’s frustrated with the incompetence of the plantation slave and constantly demeans the slave unbeknownst to them that this individual isn’t as skilled as they’ve been touted to be.

Do we also talk about the fact that Andela would lay off people for no reason and try to build a fictitious case around it just so they don’t have to pay the staff/dev what they’re owed.

Or, do we talk about the fact that Andela pays staff in different parts of Africa different wages based on the stringency of the labor laws and the likelihood that the slaves would blow the whistle.

Listen, there is a lot to unpack about this company and you have barely scratched the surface.

Yes, Andela helped put African developers on the global map. Yes, it helped teach African dev communities what a great workplace should be in terms of aesthetics and remote work. However, do you know what it feels like to constantly be on edge that you might be let go? Can you imagine a VP talking to staff and telling them that they’re too entitled and whiny and are free to leave if they want? Can you imagine being taunted and insulted by a client for being terrible at your work because you’ve been “sold” as something you’re not? Do you know what it means to have a job but not work for months on end? How useless you feel? Do you know how it feels to be dumped with no job prospects in this part of the world? Do you know what it feels like knowing that you’re being paid between approximately $165 monthly( D0-D1) and $1244 (D4) for something that’s worth $5000 to $10,000 monthly? How about the fact that a Nigerian had this idea and for some unknown reason all the African founders left the company and it’s now being touted as an American company while the Africans on whose backs it was built on are being exploited. These are the issues.

To Jeremy who doesn’t eat in the cafeteria or drink water from the dispenser when he comes to the Lagos office and gives fake smiles after charismatic speeches to devs, you say you’re “hurt” but what else would you call the kind of exploitation you dish out to Africans that you clearly can’t do in the United States?

I’m looking forward to reading Iyin’s book on building Andela because I’d really like to know what must have happened to make him, the other African founders and the Nigerian VPs Global Ops Consent to their people being treated as they have by their company.

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Why would you refer to efforts put by persons of goodwill to assist their brothers and sisters impacted by Andela's change in strategy and rendered jobless as "blowing off steam"?

Also, do people need permission to open slack channels to advance their growth from adversaries that messed them up in the first place?

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Andela is a very curious case and I strongly suspect all is not as it seems.

This is not the first time foreigners are attempting to cash in on the 'african startup' label to woo investors. Rocket internet did so with Jumia, O.pay tried same in Nigeria. In Andelas case, they milked the sentiment until it was no longer useful and now claim to be a US startup. Which is it ?

Things deteriorated so badly, employees refered to their company as a 'plantation'. Wow! Something is not right I'm the state of Denmark.

I am looking forward to the second part of this story, where investors realize something untoward may have happened and start making 'legal noises' BECAUSE THE REAL STORY IS WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY THE COMPANY RAISED AND EARNED GO ? As we have come to know, certainly not to salaries.

When the answers start coming, I hope you write about it.

Keep digging and congratulations for writing and publishing a great highly nuanced article.

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The plantation tag is 100% accurate. One of the ways slave owners were able to control their slaves was by making the slave fully dependent on them was having the slaves believe that they were nothing without their masters and that they owed them for everything. This is something the plantation has succeeded at. You'll find brilliant developers who have bought this narrative hook line and sinker. Despite how "hurt" Jeremy Johnson claims to be the truth is as it is. Andela is a plantation. The one possible saving grace would have been the support Andela claimed to provide to their developers during and after they left. This was utter nonsense. No such support existed or currently exists. The only issue I take up with this article is the "unofficial slack" portion. When the plantation failed on it's promising of support, the developers had to do it amongst themselves. They did not need any permission from their masters to create it. I understand the need for E to try and come to defend Andela in part because of his legacy but Andela is beyond salvage. Articles like this will help brilliant developers from falling to the clutches of Christina Sass, Jeremy Johnson and their ilk. As foe the sycophants give them time. Once the plantation is done with them it will spit them out. If you were thinking about joining please I beg you try to apply to remote positions. Thanks to Covid 19 more companies are willing to try. You may be paid a little less than your coworkers in those countries but believe me it will be more than the plantation will offer. The Andela support has and will always be a giant con. Based off the meeting we had a couple of days ago they do not care what happens to you before, during and after you leave.

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Thanks to Andela for believing in African talents. Andela has impacted positively in a lot of Africans.

I am an ex-andelean. I started thinking I made a wrong decision for leaving my former company during the onboarding when I heard the number of developers on bench doing nothing.

I can vividly remember one of the guys we resumed together asked the country director (Nigeria) why Andela is still employing even after laying off over 400 junior devs in 2019 and considering the fact that there are still over 400 devs on bench. She said they needed to maintain a pool.

After two months, I got so worried of doing nothing for the company. Getting paid doing nothing and also witnessing the internal politics displayed by the team incharge of partner engagement is disheartening.

I used to hear about the partner engagement politics when I joined and I confirmed that myself because I was a victim. The people incharge of the partner engagement are biased. They select whoever they know or want for the engagement and not strictly on the individual skills and project requirements.

Andela extended the probation period from 3 months to 6 months when it was just few days to our confirmation. I am happy I am out because some of the guys we resumed together have been sacked without any compensation. This is really sad. Hiring people that are doing well at their former workplace just to render them useless and sack them with no benefit is disheartening. I believe Andela can do better.

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Before Andela, I had talent without much opportunity but I was also on a growth path, after Andela, I've remained on that growth path thanks to the thick skin and tenacity I have, same cannot be said of many other developers as Andela made us feel like we were being done a favor everyday which in turn negated the net benefit of going through that journey. On the whole it was always harrowing(working slave-like everyday with skewed recognition of hard work or staying on the bench feeling miserable everyday) with one always on the edge of the cut. Traumatic at best. I survived. A suggestion to make the best of the current employees who were at first super talented and motivated as opposed to spreading the culture of dispensability by hiring less experienced people with the hope of somehow rush-molding them into junior developers more than 2 years ago fell on deaf ears, Andela spreads and keeps spreading the fear of dispensability by their continued hiring of developers with a bench at full capacity.

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This is interesting!

- Miscommunication about salary has been a problem inside Andela since 2015.

- Most folks from the earliest cohorts(1-5) knew what this was about and walked away before to better things(They had a pretty decent network to tap into).

- And I also agree with E on this "I have always maintained that in a perfect society Andela should be a public good but here we are".

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I know an instance of Andela aggressively poaching a senior developer trained by a local Kenyan startup (working on local

problems). I heard it wasn’t a singular case either. That’s what they call building the skillset of talented juniors in Africa? 🤦🏻‍♀️

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Communication gaffes and PR stunts. Should make every discerning observer look closer and dig further. One day, the full story might be told.

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I am from Africa. I worked in the largest Telecom company in the world for 11 years (before joining Andela) and the customers were charged 80 Euro per hour for my work. That number was not confidential and was in the excel sheets every where. What I take from this is a little bit more than its tenth.

Does that mean my company was making 10 times my profit?

I am sorry but that is somehow stupid to assume.

The company pays a lot to managers, for assets, for infrastructure, for engineers not involved in any projects, for sales, for marketing, for taxes, for R&D .... The list is much bigger than that.

This is like calculating the cost of plastic and electronic components of an iPhone and comparing it with its price and saying: Apple is making a very big margin! Apple is and must make a profit but it is not simply one number minus the other.

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there was a lot of miscommunication and internal conflict at Andela

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Am an ex-Andean but inside I can describe it as hell fire, I had wanted to leave andela the first week I joined cause as a human being I can really tell if something is not fine especially the management, but I didn’t leave cause if I did I had to pay them a sum of 15000 US Dollars, so I had to wait for them to fire. It was such a relief. But I thank them too.

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If one ever needed an example of a western company taking advantage(actually the correct term should be exploiting) Africans, think no further than the plantation.

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To those who wrongfully thought that the plantation's masters ie Jeremy, Christina and the other merry bend were Africa's saviours the current changes in the plantation should make you think again. Why would a self respecting half decent developer currently join them? There are way more better avenues out there for an even ok developer than joining them. If you join them and they naturally screw you over you rightfully deserve it.

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