The Nigerian tech ecosystem has grown over the past two decades to produce global businesses and world-class professionals, including developers, designers and product managers.

The Techosystem provides life-changing opportunities—both in addressing the country's pains and providing personal gains, despite its shortcomings.

As of Q2 2019, the ICT sector accounted for 13.8% of Nigeria's gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Also, the African Startup Compensation Survey submits that, on average, a junior engineer could earn as much as $12,000/annum (N4.3 million). This explains the growing interest of Nigerian youths in the ICT sector.

In the past 90 days, more than 149,110 Nigerians have visited freecodecamp.org—one of the platforms where people can learn how to code for free. This, as well as the teeming participants at various bootcamps and trainings, suggests that a lot of people want to learn how to code and build a career in the tech industry.

This article identifies the communities that tech enthusiasts and people just starting out in their tech career can join. Experts and professionals can also leverage the communities to network with peers.

In the past, all the disciplines in the tech ecosystem were subsumed under developer community. But now, the different disciplines are branching out to build their own communities, thereby providing a safe place for people who don't fancy coding and its patois.

Why you should be part of a tech community

It takes a village to raise a child. And wise dwarfs stand on the shoulders of giants.

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Isaac Newton
  1. By joining a community, you will get access to valuable mentorship and wise counsel.
  2. As a member of a community, you will get to know about events, conferences, workshops, job openings and other opportunities
  3. You will be able to work on community projects and build your portfolio. These projects include, organising events and trainings, building apps for events and the community website.
  4. A community also provides a rich network and you get to make good friends. and As the saying goes, your network determines your net worth.

P.S: This is list is not exhaustive, but it's alive. Thus, it will be updated as frequeently as new communities emerge (or are discontinued).

28 Communities every Techie should join

This list is grouped into three—communities for developers, designers, and product managers.

We were able to identify 12 developer communities, 5 designer communities, 3 product manager communities and 10 others.

A. Communities for Developers

1. forloop Africa

This is indeed one of the fastest growing tech communities in Africa. Started as a community for Nigerian developers in 2016, forloop Africa has become a community for every (and any) software developer and enthusiast in Africa. It has chapters in different states across Nigeria, and in other African countries, namely, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The organising team comprises of some of the great minds in the tech ecosystem. Notably, Prosper "unicodeveloper" Otemuyiwa, Ridwan Olalere, Christian Nwamba, Ire Aderinokun, Solomon Osadolo and Babajide Duroshola.

You can join forloop Africa slack, become a member, subscribe to its podcast, or plan to attend the next meetup close to you.

2. Google Developers Group

Who does not know Google Developers Group (GDG)? Even non-techies know the biggest developer community in the world, with chapters scattered around the world. In Nigeria, there's GDG in all the 36 states, with some states having more than chapter. For instance, Lagos has six.

GDG provide an opportunity for tech enthusiasts to learn new skills through workshops and its events create an inclusive environment where junior and senior developers can network and geek about their interests. The annual developer festival (#DevFest) organized by GDG Lagos holds the title for the largest gathering of developers in Nigeria.

You can join the GDG chapter close to you or connect with the amiable Aniedi Udo-Obong, Google's Programme Manager, Developer Ecosystem for Sub-Saharan Africa.

3.  Google Developer Student Club

This is another Google-initiated developer community, but for student. There are 47 Google Developer Student Club (DSC) in Nigeria, spread across universities, colleges and polytechnics. DSCs are aimed to help students, undergraduate or postgraduate nurture their interest in programming and other Google developer technologies. You can check if there is a DSC in your institution.

4. Kotlin User Group

Unlike the aforementioned communities that are generalistic, Kotlin User Group is a community for developers that work with the Kotlin programming language. It also provide an opportunity for tech enthusiasts to be learn about the programming language.

Kotlin User Group Lagos was by Eyitayo Alimi, Founder and CTO of Nectar Hub Software Company, in 2017. And the Kotlin User Group in Abuja was started in the same year by Shola "Slick" Akinrolie, Adetayo James and other people. Today, Kotlin User Group has grown to have 13 more chapters across Nigeria.

5. Codennovation

Condennovation is a community of developers on mission to give back to the society. In partnership with the IBI Foundation and Major League Hacking, Codennovation organises meetups where young people learn programming, designing and other technology skills.

Among its organising team are members of Kotlin User Group, namely Shola "Slick" Akinrolie, David Ajah and Adetayo James.

6. Consonance Club

As the name implies, Consonance Club is a harmonious community of developers, designers, engineers and entrepreneurs. Started in 2017, Consonance Club is a closely-knit community that you can only get into through referrals. You can reach out to Kelvin Umechukwu or Mayowa Tudonu to be a part of Consonance Club.

7. Developer Career

This is the ultimate community for anyone just starting out their developer career. Developer Career (DevCareer) is a non-profit organisation that support anyone interested in venturing into programming and provide adequate resources to make them a world class developers.

8. Laravel Nigeria

This is another programming language specific community. It is a community of Nigerian developers interested in or currently using Laravel.

The organising team of Laravel Nigeria include Neo Ighodaro, Adewale "AceKYD" Abati, Stephen Afam-Osemene and Florence Okosun. Earlier this month, it held the biggest PHP conference in Nigeria. Join the community on Slack.

9. Angular Nigeria

Angular Nigeria is open to anyone interested in the Angular framework, "javascript frontend engineering and any topic in-between". It is managed by Kelechi Oti, Senior Software Engineer at Terragon Group. Join Angular Nigeria WhatsApp group.

10. DevOps Nigeria

DevOps is a portmanteau of development and operations. DevOps Nigeria is a community for professional devops engineers and developers looking to change their career path. Managed by Adedayo Akinpelu, DevOps Engineer at Quidax, DevOps Nigeria holds meetups every quarter across its chapters in Lagos and Abuja. You can join the community on Slack or Telegram.

11. JAMstack Lagos

Like jam doughnut, JAMstack is about the fusion of JavaScript, APIs and pre-rendered Markups aimed at enabling developers to build fast, secure and dynamic websites and applications. JAMStack Lagos organises frequent meetups, where developers share knowledge in these areas: static site generation, modern web ecosystem, web apps, web hosting and performance solutions.

The organising team of JAMstack Lagos are Perry Eising, Head of Community at Netlify, William "iChuloo" Imoh, and Egwuenu Gift. Join the community.

12. Facebook Developer Circles

Facebook but for developers. With 14 circles spread across Nigeria, Facebook Developer Circles community bring together developers to explore shared interests, which range from open source technologies, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, internet of things. The Lagos circle boost of over 15,000 members and it hosted Facebook's Developer Summit in 2018. Join the circle close to you.

The Developer Circle is also hosting the 2019 React Summit on November 30.

13. Devcenter Square

Devcenter Square is a community of developers and designers that fosters excellence and knowledge sharing, mentoring and collaboration. Join the Slack community.

14. AI Saturdays

AI Saturdays (AKA AI6) is a global community aimed making aritificial intelligence education accessible to anyone. As such, it is open to both developers and tech enthusiasts, who want to "kickass in AI".

Tejumade Afonja and Azeez Oluwafemi organized and first 16-week cycle of AI6 in Lagos last year. Within this short period, AI Saturdays Lagos has birthed chapters in Abuja, Abeokuta and Ibadan. Join the community to be a part of the next cohort.

B. Communities for Designers

Dribble Lagos Meet

15. Figma Africa

It is only appropriate that one of the applications used by designers has a community. Figma Africa is a community for professional and nascent designers to connect, network and grow their design skills. Figma Africa Nigeria, launched last year, convened 300 participants. Join the community to improve your design skill.

There is also an online Adobe XD community.

16. Usable

Formerly UXLagos, Usable organises monthly meetups for designers to explore common interests: interaction design, visual design, user research, sketching and prototyping. Join the community.

17. Ctrl-g.co

This close-knit community of "smart people wey sabi design" in Ibadan. CTRL+G: Ibadan Design Meet convenes designers to geek about visual and UI/UX design and everything in-between.

18. Interaction Design Foundation

Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) is a nonprofit initiative providing top-quality, online design courses. Through its 469 local community across the world, three are present in Nigeria: Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. IDF communities provide an opportunity for designers to network and share knowledge.

19. Dribbble Meetups: Lagos Meet

Dribbble Meetups independently-organized events that bring togethers designers for networking and knowledge sharing. Like TEDx, different Dribbble Meetups are held in Nigeria, but the most popular is Lagos Meet.

Unfortunately, there is no Lagos Dribbble Meet this year. But the 2018 Lagos Dribbble Meet was a huge success.

C. Communities for Product Managers

Credit: ProductDive Meetup

20. ProductTank

Founded by Martin Eriksson in 2010, ProductTank has become the largest community of product managers in the world. Its meetups bring together product managers to share their experience. Join the Slack community.

ProductTank Lagos was started by Khadija Abu, Product Manager at Paystack. The community an opportunity for Nigerians to exchange ideas and experiences about the nitty-gritty of product management. Join the community so that you don't miss the next meetup.

21. Product School Lagos

This is a community of product managers in Lagos supported by Product School, the leading tech school that teaches product management. Join the community.

22. Product Dive

ProductDive, launched by a former Co-organizer of Product School Lagos meetup, Oluwatobi Otokiti, provides professional training in product management and organises frequent meetups. Join the community.

Others

23. Ingressive EDG

The Entrepreneur Development Group (EDG) of Ingressive is a community for tech professionals, including startup founders, in Africa. The group provides resources and tools needed for a successful career and business. Join the community.

24. Google Business Group

This is the sister group of the other Google communities. Through the 11 GBGs across Nigeria, entrepreneurs learn how to use Google products and other technologies in running their businesses.

25. Lagos Startup Founder 101

Lagos Startup Founder 101 community brings together aspiring and experienced tech entrepreneurs to learn how to start and run successful companies. It is an initiative of the Founder Institute.

26. The Nigeria Testers Forum

The Nigeria Testers Forum (NTF) is a community of quality assurance and test professionals, with the aim of improving the quality assurance ecosystem in Nigeria. Join the community.

27. ANST

The Association of Nigeria Software Testers (ANST) is a nonprofit organisation that is dedicated to building a robust product and software testing community. Join the community.

28. TechQuest

TechQuest STEM Academy is a nonprofit STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) organization dedicated to supporting STEM organizations and educators with ICT, digital literacy and STEM content, resources and tools needed to impact young people across Africa. TechQuest is on a mission to empower Africa for the digital economy. You can also volunteer with TechQuest in achieving this mission.


Kindly reach out to us: @dadabenblog to nominate a budding community for tech enthusiasts.