In my ten years of website design and development, hanging out with fellow techies both on and offline, running a thriving web design outfit in Lagos, it seems far too obvious to the casual observer that Nigeria’s web design and development service sector is filled to the brim with website designers and programmers who have never had any form of credible formal training and certification.I’ve spent years and years around designers and developers and seldom come across one who was formally trained and certified. Sometimes I’d run into one with a dodgy certificate from some roadside “Computer School”.
Back in the days of the internet boom in Nigeria, it was quite understandable to see barely baked website design “experts” who’d taught themselves everything they knew. The web was well, still new in these parts and at the time, this was forgivable. Add to that, with the exception of the likes of NIIT and Aptech, who themselves I doubt did not introduce any website development courses until much later, there were no well-known website design and development certification programmes and accredited tutors available. So, there was really not much to go on in terms of finding structured, credible training in website design and development.
The results of course, were sorely disappointing . The Nigerian cyberspace was overrun with such horrid looking websites; extra-ordinarily uninspiring designs, inconsistent styling, loads and loads of garbage code, unnecessarily long page load time, use of print resolution (300dpi) graphics on the web, broken links, unnecessary clutter and poor use of space… the list is not endless. I just believe you get the gist.
And now for some shameless, bare-faced self promotion. After all, it is our blog 😀
Level Seven was born in the thick of all this to provide Nigerian businesses and non-profits with world-class website design services that was, and still is hard-to-find. We rose to the occasion, building websites that can hold their own anywhere in the world, all without costing our clients a fortune… and we’ve not looked back ever since.
Now back to our discourse.
Today, there are quite a number of credible training and certification options for Nigerians to take advantage of. Some notable options are W3school’s range of certifications and Certified Internet Webmasters (CIW), which happens to be our preferred training & certification provider here at Level Seven.
Last year when we threw out our nets in a bid to get new web techies to join our team in Lagos, it was tiring having to sift through tons of CVs of wannabe web developers who did not have a single credible certification, never mind we did require one in the job specification. Its almost as though we do not know what certifications are. They are meant to “certify” skill. Its the formal way to prove you do have the required skills for the job. The few who did have credible formal training or certification stood out and were shortlisted right away. This was one nightmare on the scarcity of duly certified web professionals in Nigeria we wouldn’t forget in a hurry.
I really believe that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the potentials of website development in this country. Maybe later in the future it wouldn’t be so difficult to find trained and certified web professionals in Nigeria. Truth is, right now, it is. And this spells a largely untapped professional career opportunity. In a country with a cut-throat unemployment rate of 23.9%, one would expect job seekers who’re serious about a career in web development to take the time and invest in currently priceless training and certification from reputable bodies. Sadly this has not been the case.