Beyond Codes: My advice to Nigerian developers

I once had a PHP tutor in Agege, Lagos, who claims that he can put together all the codes used to develop Facebook. “There is nothing in Facebook, I can write the codes”, he often say to me. My tutor has a working knowledge of virtually all the programming you can think of. As proof, he often shows me his portfolio throughout my sessions with him.

Despite these skills, my tutor is nowhere near becoming Africa’s Mark Zuckerberg neither has he created anything significant in the tech community. My tutor’s case is just one of many other developers I’ve met. These developers go around town bragging that they can put together codes that’ll run the whole world, yet nothing significant has risen from them. I understand that there are some other factors that sometimes limit the achievement of these developers, however, some are self inflicted.

Developers need to understand that the ability to put together codes alone does not guarantee success. This is difficult to accept. Many developers learn this the hard way. From a little research, I’ve come to realize and accept that a handful of developers are not business inclined. Developing a great business model and selling to the public, among others are two critical things that a tech venture has to take seriously.


Collaborate – simple isn’t it? Check out the leading tech companies today, you’ll notice a blend of technical and business combinations among the founders. Nigerian developers need to pocket whatever it is that makes them believe they can do it all alone. Sometimes, this collaboration may be in terms of partnership. You may look for a partner who compliments you. If you’re not a fan of partnership, you can simply set up a think tank or a founding team. This team should be a combination of technical and managerial skills with a strong focus on your needed skills. Until this happens, you may just continue to carry your codes about on your laptop.

It is also noticeable that quite a number developers are short of ideas. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be great to liaise with friends/peers who are idealists. The case of the Nigerian tech community is a disconnected one. One in which those who have great and marketable ideas do not have adequate skills to push it and those who have enough skills are short of marketable ideas. To eliminate this, we must seek collaboration.


Technopreneur. Chief Hustler at 1Plify. PhD scholar [Technology entrepreneurship]

7 comments On Beyond Codes: My advice to Nigerian developers

  • A great post. I have come to learn that it is not the most intelligent guys from the university that stay back and become Professors. Likewise, having knowledge without applying it makes one brute. Knowledge needs to be exploited. To be harnessed to make something out of it!

    Great post, Oluwatobi.

  • V. good one, and true.

  • Thanks for this post. I ve always tried to explain to many folks that knowing how to code does not guarantee success in business. I am amused by the statement people make about being able to create Facebook. I recommend the Facebook Engineering blog for them and they will get to know the engineering works that make Facebook what it is today.

    Would definitely share this post with these guys.

    • This is somewhat difficult to accept, especially when you talk to developers. However, time usually prove them wrong. I just wish many developers understand this early.

      Thanks for visiting.

  • What an eye opener. I have learnt that ideas conceived and not materialized will alwayz be like a hidden treasure whose value might be known unless made use of. More of this Timothy.

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