What’s Wrong with the Tech Community in Ghana?

Non tech-managers, poor salaries and high demands – everyday life for computer engineers, coders and techies in Ghana. 

  1. This morning, I ran into a Twitter convo that started with a bloated job ad, obviously written by someone who didn’t even know what skill they were looking for! Some annoyed techies were venting. I jumped in, added a few people to the debate and suggested:
  2. Maybe this convo–> one of Gh’s tech spaces. How do we grow the industry& respect skill? @nukturnal @edemkumodzi @ivanTD@enyok @EmekaOkoye
  3. Don’t despair, organize is my humble suggestion. Bloggers in Ghana need to do the same. @edemkumodzi @nukturnal @ivanTD @enyok@EmekaOkoye
  4. But the problem is hydra headed! Lets see what different elements there are:
  5. 1. Non-tech managers of computer engineers
  6. @kajsaha @nukturnal @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye companies shld start by respecting themselves. Some job adverts we’ve seen is an insult.
  7. @kajsaha @nukturnal @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye understand what you are really hiring for and find the best you can for that specific thing.
  8. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoyeCompanies should understand a team sometimes have “Ronaldos” & “Messis”. U av to manage it.
  9. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye Many local tech companies fail to realise a skilled engineer brings more than just “Code”
  10. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye Football is not about just kicking the ball, Messi & Ronaldo both amplify this…
  11. @kajsaha @nukturnal @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye they are being managed by non post-technical managers. They end up feeling undervalued.
  12. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye The biggest treat to our local tech industry is non tech CEOs or Managers.
  13. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye I have 12+ prof yrs of exp in our local tech scene. Non Technical managers are killing it.
  14. Techies will continue to earn less in africa bcos patronage of local tech is poor. @enyok @nukturnal @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @kajsaha
  15. …better than non-technical or technical is apparently post-technical!
  16. @ivanTD @EmekaOkoye @nukturnal @kajsaha @enyok Enyo is brillant!! She’s post-technical, she understands what needs to be done.
  17. @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @EmekaOkoye @nukturnal @kajsaha lol. post-technical never sounded like such a compliment! lol. hey, COBOL still exists!
  18. 2. Poor salaries and incentives
  19. @nukturnal@edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoyeMany top engineers end up leaving to the non tech sector…”<<Reasons in your view?
  20. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye They pay chicken feed and expect Kilimanjaro returns. It does not work like that.
  21. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye When I hear tech companies complaining that banks are taking all the top engineers, I smile
  22. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye They leave to the Banks, where they are paid more and do less work and they value goes up.
  23. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye Top engineers work 24/7 even if they don’t want to, you cannot eecape it.
  24. @nukturnal @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @enyok @EmekaOkoyesometimes there’s no point in all the hardwork when you don’t get a good pay. Big factor
  25. I hear you. And maybe share profits with workers as bonuses? #TechinAfrica @nukturnal @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok@EmekaOkoye
  26. @nukturnal@sboots2 @enyok @EmekaOkoye @edemkumodzi@ivanTD ..post on why top engineers eventually leave the industry.” <<do share link!
  27. Techies that chase money will always jump ship to other sectors while the passionate remains @enyok @nukturnal @edemkumodzi@ivanTD @kajsaha
  28. 3. The tech scene is not sufficiently organized
  29. @kajsaha @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok @EmekaOkoye As an industry we don’t have any representation. All policies are passed by non tech head.
  30. @enyok @kajsaha @Storify @sboots2 @EmekaOkoye@edemkumodzi @ivanTD One problem too, many techies just think about code code code code
  31. @enyok @kajsaha @Storify @sboots2 @EmekaOkoye@edemkumodzi @ivanTD They don’t care about policies and other things around them
  32. Techies need to collaborate. Presently their attitude sucks. Collabo helps bootstrap biz. @enyok @nukturnal @edemkumodzi @ivanTD@kajsaha
  33. 4. Instead of collaborating, we have mostly start-ups/small businesses
  34. Ind basis=sad,industry basis =disaster.Gh will never’ve a big tech company if no change! @nukturnal @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @enyok@EmekaOkoye
  35. @EmekaOkoye @nukturnal @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @kajsaha we have to create the market. this is no different than any other PS field that grew up
  36. @kajsaha @nukturnal @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @EmekaOkoye It really only takes 1 company to do it differently and start making the change.
  37. @enyok @nukturnal @ivanTD @EmekaOkoye @kajsaha All this is going to change soon. As Enyo said, all it takes is one company! Just one …
  38. @enyok @EmekaOkoye @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @kajsaha this is why 90% of the people here want to start their own companies.
  39. +10 @nukturnal! not every1 builds companies. we shld each know & do what we do best. @EmekaOkoye @edemkumodzi @ivanTD@kajsaha #TechinAfrica
  40. 5. Tech scene not united with government
  41. Techies will continue to earn less in africa bcos patronage of local tech is poor. @enyok @nukturnal @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @kajsaha
  42. @nukturnal @EmekaOkoye @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @kajsaha we need techies also in civil service to beef up gov tech strategy. #TechinAfrica
  43. @enyok @kajsaha @Storify @sboots2 @EmekaOkoye@edemkumodzi @ivanTD We cannot bait gov with a mindset like that. Our positioning is weak.
  44. @nukturnal @kajsaha @Storify @sboots2 @EmekaOkoye@edemkumodzi @ivanTD Our positioning is INDEED far too weak. Let’s change the narrative.
  45. @nukturnal @EmekaOkoye @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @kajsaha#TechinAfrica must change it’s horizon to effectively collaborate with govt.
  46. @EmekaOkoye @enyok @edemkumodzi @ivanTD @kajsaha adhoc prevents premeditated taught which prevents us from setting goals for the future.
  47. @enyok @nukturnal @EmekaOkoye @edemkumodzi @kajsaha Govt’s and #TechinAfrica are like wild beasts. Once they get along, it’ll be amazing….
  48. Govt must improve human capacity development in tech. This is fundamental. @enyok @nukturnal @edemkumodzi @ivanTD@kajsaha
  49. Next steps…
  50. So my initial suggestion was let’s bring the convo to one of the… @enyok @Storify @nukturnal @sboots2 @EmekaOkoye@edemkumodzi @ivanTD
  51. …first debrief- collect the problems THEN organize. Solutionize. @enyok @Storify @nukturnal @sboots2 @EmekaOkoye@edemkumodzi @ivanTD
  52. @nukturnal @kajsaha @Storify @sboots2 @EmekaOkoye@edemkumodzi @ivanTD Same here. Will come back with IRL + TweetChat host date & time.
Sharing is caring!

You may also like

1 Comment

  1. Hi Kajsa, great questions and insights from you as always 🙂 .I however don’t know if your suggestion clearly defines what’s wrong with the tech community in Ghana. Word here is community although i understand a community is made up of the people in it.

    My view on this has to do with the developers themselves. The developer community in Ghana seems to be a “cool kids club” where only the “popular” developers are regarded. Popular for whatever, i am not really sure of. I believe in openness and as such i feel we need to move away from the “cool kids club” ideology and open up the space to anyone who wants to learn how to code and eventually become a developer.

    We need to rally more people and make it easier for them to be part of the community. We will both agree there is so much ego in the creative industry where people want to prove themselves to stand out which is not an entirely bad thing but maybe with less ego. I have been part of many small tech communities in the past and i honestly believe the “star” or the “best developer” status has greatly poisoned and stifled the growth of these communities. This is what’s wrong with the tech community in Ghana.

    As a clear example, i read somewhere the other day that people give themselves the title “web engineer” when they setup a simple CMS (content management system). This kind of comment poisons the tech community. I will tell you why. Any young developer should love and appreciate CMSs. They are great and are a result of years of research and development by serious tech companies who believe in open source software. CMSs teach young and experienced developers how modern website backends or administration areas should be structured and look like. One way or the other these “experienced” developers who criticise the use of CMSs actually learnt so much from them but wouldn’t say, again because of ego. In fact they don’t need to tell anyone they learned from open source CMSs but also should not look down upon developers who do. One way or the other every website has to have a CMS-like backend for easy administration by user who are not so tech savvy and this is the reality. So if developers choose to build with open source CMSs tech i don’t see the issue here. CMSs are great and i love it. There is so much to learn from it if you are looking to grow as a developer.

    This is what i think we should do to grow the tech community here in Ghana. Developers need to be more open and willing to share ideas and new implementations they have found to the community. This will encourage more research and lead to the personal development of young developers coming up.
    Tech communities in Europe and America has thrived because of the open source communities and not because of individuals. Massive tech companies have been built on open source software and continue to.

    In conclusion,we need to have a more open, non-egoistic approach to nurturing the tech community to show up and coming developers that it’s not a cool kids club but something they can easily be part of and help grow.