Why Fora Is Looking For Inexperienced Software Developers To Hire

iyinoluwa aboyeji

Yes. No experience required, according to a blog post by Fora CEO, Iyin Aboyeji, announcing job opportunities for software developers in his edtech startup.

“If you make it through our rigorous application process, we will hire and train you to be a software engineer”, he said.

It doesn’t matter if you can code right now or not. Theoretically, if Fora hires you, you should be able to in three months. Three months, because this “initiative” is not without context. Not long ago, Iyin caught a bit of flak from the TC community for positing that good developers could be trained in three months. His exact words;

…because the cost of training good developers has crashed over the last 5 years. You can literally create good developers in 3 months without any prior background in computer science.

Iyin, an insighful contributor to the TC community, and famous for jumping in the deep end with controversial opinions is not known for giving quarter when a point is at stake. By his standards, going as far as actually hiring green devs to validate his theory is not extreme at all. We’ll see how that goes.

“Our ideal candidate must be a curious mind who is interested in tech but may not have had the training”, he says. He does appear to have revised his ambitions for making techies out of muggles somewhat though, and allowed for a more pragmatic time frame*.

But whether for the sake of argument or no, Iyin won’t be the first to employ this tack. Anaele Iroh has written about how he actively employs unskilled individuals who acquire technical skills by building his products. It’s much easier to whine about the dearth of talent than to boil the ocean for it, but it seems that the latter approach is slowly but surely becoming more popular.

*Updated after publishing, after I happened on that new piece of context.

28 Comments

  • Iyinoluwa Aboyeji says:

    Thank you! To apply all you need to do is email us at jobs@fora.co by May 10th, 2014. Looking forward to seeing your application!!

  • Onyeka A. says:

    Cool. I’m always down for potential developers getting paid work.

    Though admittedly, a dark little part of me that i’m not proud of is disappointed he didn’t stick with his 3-month time frame.

    • Iyinoluwa Aboyeji says:

      Haha! You are super smart. I would be an idiot not to listen to you.

      That said. I will push for developers to learn as quickly as possible. We are using software + human facilitator to train so if someone is motivated. They could go faster than the rest of the class.

  • The Taichou says:

    Could someone point me in the right direction to “why”? I read this hoping to understand the reason why @iyinoluwa_aboyeji:disqus is looking for inexperienced software developers, after all, that’s what the title promises.

    Is the point to validate a theory? If so, why not validate the theory emblazoned in the article, you know, the one that started all this, i.e., “you can literally create good developers in 3 months without any prior background in computer science”? Seeing as he has chosen to pick a more realistic-sounding target, I don’t think it’s about validating a theory.

    If he’s doing his own bit to boil the ocean by training potential developers, then I salute him. Especially when you consider that employment bonds are difficult to enforce anywhere – just ask Access Bank. So, in essence, Fora is gifting the selected developers a scholarship in the hopes that the best ones will opt to work for them. I like the strategy, if that’s what it is. When more IT-related businesses invest in enhancing and expanding the labour pool, the net effect will be positive for the broader entrepreneurial – and not just technology – ecosystem.

    Unfortunately, the article reads like he’s fulfilling a dare and that concerns me.

    • Iyinoluwa Aboyeji says:

      Fulfilling a dare? yes.

      But we are also validating a potentially large market opportunity. Unemployment.

      We believe software can eat unemployment and it might be a smarter direction to take our training business. Instead of incurring the high customer acquisition cost of convincing companies to pay to properly train engineers, excel gurus, social media analysts, and data scientists why don’t we train them ourselves and employ them so these companies can farm these jobs out to us. Our training costs can easily be covered because of how good the margins on our online edu biz are (we get training content for 50%-75% off most times.)

      Some billion $$ business like Infosys and Technoserve have been built this way but our data driven approach and new technology and tools that didn’t exit before might allow us to get to where these companies are 5-7 years ahead of schedule.

      As for employment bonds, we pay well enough (better than 75% of Nigerian IT companies) and we don’t have a lot of competition (yet) so I don’t think we will need those. Developers will stay if they are getting good pay (and a very good merit based pay structure). If they don’t stay, we are constantly recruiting so they will soon be replaced anyway.

  • Izundu Howard says:

    Find an african developer here http://build.com.ng/more.php

  • Olu'yomi Ojo says:

    This should be posted everywhere.

  • Guest says:

    Bollocks!!

  • Okechukwu Nnamdi says:

    Bollocks!! then post it on jobberman and spare us.

  • josiahking says:

    What programming language can you learn and master in 3 months to be able to create go web or mobile or desktop application?
    All these Nigerians are so funny.
    I am a developer and i know what it takes.
    http://parktelonline.com

  • Emeka O says:

    What is up with this? Has the program kicked off?

Comments are closed.