Android or Web developer in Nigeria?
So rewind two years back when I obviously knew nothing about programming and all that coding sweetness, here comes the guy who setup my brand new PC internet connection telling me “Nigerians don’t need to code ‘cos they can do without it”. Okay, this is an innocent, naive me in web programming, eager to conquer HTML, I wasn’t even thinking CSS back then, to me code meant HTML. So you’d ask what brought about this conversation. I just got my new PC and wasn’t sure what to do with it and then let’s call our friend Mr.Tee comes around to help me fix internet via SimpleServer (we sha taught MTN a lesson back then, miss those days though) and then to test if his configurations were right he tested the connection using www.w3schools.com and then I got curious and asked him lots of question, prior to now, I was a bit curious about the web, heard of HTML once or twice but I seriously can’t explain where the hunger to explore came from at that moment. He tried to answer some of my questions and then that statement came up, though I debunked his statement and proceeded to learn anyway, it was not a smooth journey, w3schools didn’t help matters at all….story for another day. Mr.Tee’s statement didn’t discourage me , in fact it made me more curious and today I feel proud of my achievements.
Now, my main reason. The truth about programming in Nigeria is…truly we believe we can do without programming as a whole, note the word “believe”, and think it belongs to “the whites” , really, it’s not their fault, we have survived on animism and all that mumbo-jumbo for ages. Programming looks like a new trend and too alien for most Nigerians. To most Nigerians, it’s time-wasting. We have survived without it and will keep surviving. Okay stay with me.
Dear upcoming developer, for a country like Nigeria, keep your android dev skills for Silicon Valley and just decide to either be a Front-end or Back-end or Full-stack web developer. Nigeria is currently at what I will term “The Website Fever Age”. In the bulky population of Nigeria, I don’t think 1% is interested in phone apps.
Here is a breakdown of the average Nigerian’s time on his smartphone: Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook (Sometimes, they just go through OperaMini like I do except on picture-posting moments), Games (cooking fever, candycrush, templerun, etc). They don’t even bother to update, BTW, it’s not their business, to them Google playstore and their wahala. Let’s not even go to googlemaps but you see someone fighting to buy the latest Iphone. They don’t even know Pinterest *sigh*. I don’t want to discourage any android developer, please if you’re currently on android studio, don’t stop, there is hope. Three years back, Nigeria was a country void of tech talks but see where we are today. Our twitter timelines are flooded with tech sweetness.
My candid advice is, get better at web development. Nigerians don’t use apps, they use websites. They believe in websites. Give them websites and get your money and the recognition. Nobody will listen to you if you got an app. I may still be wrong. In years to come, things will change I believe. Our young people are the future.