In 2014, Devcenter started out as a community platform for Nigerian developers to share what they were working on or had worked on. As part of community activities, we had a newsletter sharing articles, tools and several projects for members of the community.
The Jobs Idea
Between 2014 and 2016, we kept getting requests from startup founders and CTOS who wanted to build products for their companies so we decided to expand upon the community idea. We asked members of the community via our newsletter what content they would like to see more of. We got an overwhelming response saying “Jobs”. So we decided to build a product for companies to post jobs, skills required and remuneration. In the first week, we got 20 jobs posted and by the third week, we couldn’t insert all the jobs in our newsletter. At the end of the month, we had almost 600 emails from applicants and companies who wanted to fill roles. We had to filter through jobs and select which would go in each newsletter.
This was our Minimum Viable Product. To properly distribute this MVP, we had earlier sent press releases(announcing the new site) to relevant blogs in the technology ecosystem as well as other developer communities. We also announced it to our developer community via our newsletter.
Sorting through developers
Seun, our Chief Operating Officer personally tried to find developers to fit some of these roles. This was something that couldn’t scale because he had to personally interview them and talk to their peers about their programming prowess. Nonetheless, our idea was validated with a simple product. We didn’t need to build an automatic matching system fitting skills, time availability and cost. We just wanted the answers to three questions:;
- Do developers want more jobs? Yes.
- Are companies looking to find developers to build products? Yes
- Can we be the middle ground for companies who are looking to build products and require services of developers? Yes
Our MVP cost us ₦50,000. We didn’t want the procedure to be complex so we removed ourselves from the posting and application process and sorted out the hiring of developers. After answering the questions above, we then moved ahead with building a full-fledged application.
At Devcenter we believe strongly in the Lean Startup methodology of testing, reviewing results and iterating. It is a core value that we have embedded in our company culture and spans all aspects of the company. Data from several tests has helped us to constantly adapt and improve all our efforts.