• Saturday, February 24, 2024
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More Nigerians join tech wave as coders up 45%

More Nigerians join tech wave as coders up 45%

The number of Nigerians working in the tech ecosystem has continued to surge. In 2023, the number of software developers in the country grew by 45.62 percent to 872,162 year-on-year.

This is according to data from GitHub. The developer platform highlighted that its number of developer accounts count excludes users that are bots or otherwise flagged as ‘spammy’ within internal systems. And while the total number of developers on the platform, which has over 100 million developers, does not paint the entire picture, software developers told BusinessDay that about 90 percent of developers are on the platform.

Nigeria’s developer growth covered in this report is for the third quarter of 2022 to the third quarter of 2023. The number of developers grew from 598,921 in Q3, 2022 to 872,162 in Q3, 2023. The largest economy in Africa also boasts the highest number of developers on the continent, followed by Egypt, and South Africa.

There were 792,790 Egyptian developers and 540,586 South African developers on GitHub as of the end of Q3, 2023. A high number of developers on GitHub does not imply that all have jobs, developers noted.

“Not everybody on GitHub has a job,” Chime Somtochukwu, Frontend Software Engineer, FlexFinance, said.

GitHub’s data is far off the 84,000 professional developers Google said Nigeria had in 2021. The tech giant noted, in 2021, that the total number of professional developers in Africa grew by 3.8 percent to hit 716,000. At the time, the number of Nigerian developers on GitHub was 395,367.

Google highlighted that increased hiring by local startups and growing demand for remote tech talent were major contributors to this.

It said, “Three main factors across the tech ecosystem contributed to this positive trend: Local startups, which hire over half of African developers, raised over $4billion in 2021, 2.5x times more than in 2020.

“Increased global demand for remote tech talent, which was accelerated by the pandemic, created more remote employment opportunities for African developers. Finally, local businesses increased their use of the internet and hired developers to help them grow their businesses online.”

Google added at the time that African developers are, on average, younger than those in more mature markets. Also, startups have been on a laying-off spree because of a reduction in available funding on the continent and this may have affected employment figures in the developer space. 2,500 African startup employees were sacked in 2023, Briter Bridges revealed.

Somtochukwu, Frontend Software Engineer, FlexFinance, noted that GitHub allowed developers to collaborate and showcase their skills while at it.

Speaking on the significance of GitHub, Olajumoke Oluwadamilola, a mobile app developer, said prospective employers use GitHub profiles to measure prospective employees’ chances.

“They believe they will have an idea of projects you have worked on and probably see the structure of your code,” she stated.

She added, “I get to ask other developers to work on a certain part of my projects without sending them the codes manually. It makes collaboration and merging codes easier for me. There is a record of all the projects I have ever worked on there and I can easily share it with people.”

BusinessDay asked if a developer can have more than one GitHub account, Oluwadamilola said, “They will need a different email to do so.”

However, there has been increased activity in the software development space, with startups investing in software talent development programmes. This is expected to continue to boost the population of developers in the country.