Andela and Google’s Android Learning Community (ALC): The Case for Investing in Communities of Talent

We believe the best investment you can make is in people.

In January 2017, Andela and Google came together to do just that. We launched the Android Learning Community (ALC) in Nigeria to identify and certify Android developers as globally competitive by way of a Udacity course.

Fueled by Andela’s learning science, Udacity’s online curriculum, and Google’s community science, ALC 1.0 has supported 2,000+ aspiring technologists to date and has resulted in over 1,000 of them becoming Android Developers.

Group photo from the last ALC Meetup at Andela EPIC Tower in Lagos, Nigeria

In the past four months, learners in the ALC have built 3,500+ applications, spent more than 30,000 hours learning, and have shared 100+ success stories with over 300,000 online impressions. They were supported by a team of 5 volunteer program assistants who directly worked with 50+ volunteer facilitators and meetup organizers. These volunteers went on to facilitate meetups across 26 locations in Nigeria and mentored the learners who were grouped into teams that promoted collective accountability.

Throughout the program, we have heard countless personal stories from learners that continue to inspire us and remind us that this path is one worth taking. These stories have come from passionate and determined Nigerians from different walks of life who own their own learning despite the obstacles they face everyday. Their transformational experiences have been a joy to watch — and continue to energize us to keep marching forward.

Peer learning ongoing at an ALC meetup

One story is particularly powerful. Sefiyat joined the ALC program as a cybersecurity graduate with a Master’s in Computer Science. Despite an initial distaste for programming, Sefiyat was inspired by the growth of mobile apps and the increasing ability of technology to transform lives. She applied for the ALC program while her baby was just one month old.

Now, Sefiyat is dedicated to becoming a mobile app developer. Throughout the program and at meetups, you could spot Sefiyat hard at work at her computer, sometimes with her baby daughter providing moral support as she hung out on her lap.

Sefiyat with her baby and other ALC Learners during an ALC Meetup.

The level of dedication and commitment that it takes to juggle the intensities of being a new mother while also working through the ALC program is encouraging. It’s what reminds us that the work that we’re doing matters.

Ultimately, through the ALC, we aim to build a network of people across Africa dedicated to developing technology to solve humanity’s most challenging problems. This is just the first step to provide tens of thousands African technologists with the resources and support they need to succeed in the global tech ecosystem.

An app demo session by ALC Learners at a Google Developer’s Summit in Lagos, Nigeria

This journey has only strengthened our commitment to investing in communities of talent. Currently, we’re expanding the ALC and programs like it to empower tens of thousands of people to become local and global technology leaders.

Inspired to join, or know someone who might be? Applications are open for ALC 2.0 in Kenya for the Android track and in Nigeria across 3 tracks (Android, Web and, Product Design)

Will you be our next story?

A big thank you to Solomon ‘Lere AWOSUPIN, Maya Neria, EPIC Andelans, Google, Udacity, the amazing volunteers, Google Developer Groups, tech influencers, and all who made the ALC 1.0 a success.