ForLoop Africa is one of the largest developer community across the continent for every and any software developer. The community was founded by a group of software developers and tech professionals, led by Ridwan Olalere, Prosper Otemuyiwa, Ire Aderinokun, and Christopher Nwaba, in 2016 in Nigeria, but it has spread across Africa, as a platform for people to share knowledge, connect with each other and grow and create opportunities to advance each other’s career.
In Nigeria, ForLoop Africa is the largest developer group connecting local chapters with members across eight African countries and a 2,500 user-strong Slack community. Since being founded by Ridwan Olalere in 2016, the ForLoop community has held hundreds of meetups, trainings and hackathons yearly. The non-profit has also remained front and center of advocacy conversations in Nigeria. An interesting thing to note about ForLoop is its position in every stage of a developer’s career path whether from beginner to full-fledged professional.
In the words of Leila Janah, “Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not,” and this influenced the community’s reach into universities to find and support talent, along with attracting mentors and experienced professionals. Since ForLoop does not restrict on software or programming language, the developers, most of whom are self-taught, get their first taste of modern software development through interactions with ForLoop mentors and senior developers.
Through its university program, ForLoop Africa is able to support would-be developers at the most formative stages of their careers while providing them with access to the larger community for networking and mentorship. As they improve their skills, ForLoop offers access to freelance work which helps them stay at the forefront of software engineering and build a work history in the field. As more universities clamoured for their own community, most of the ForLoop Campus communities morphed into state-based ForLoop communities in Nigeria and even some in other African countries.
Today, Olalere has stepped down from the board and handed over to Prosper Otemuyiwa to continue the leadership of ForLoop Africa. This is based on his idea to create a sustainable community not centered around an individual but every person in the community.
Across the globe, communities remain critical to sustainable developer ecosystems, the ForLoop Africa model of accompanying developers through every stage of professional growth, positions it as a “village” that truly “raises” the child, fulfilling the initial vision of building an inclusive, engaging and vibrant community of developers across Africa. ForLoop Africa has spurred many to stay abreast of the latest technological trends while encouraging them to hone their craft of software development
In few years, what started as persuading people to attend the first community meeting became an event people attended from other parts of Africa and students demanding for a community meeting in their schools. Alongside Andela, Devcenter, and Hotels.ng’s Internship Programmes, ForLoop is one of the biggest contributors to the growth of technical talent in Nigeria and Africa.
You can become a member of the ForLoop Developers community here
Featured image source: Forloop Africa