The truth behind the closure of Thoughworks Kampala Office

ThoughtWorks Uganda. logo

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Early this week, we reported the sad news of the closure of Thoughworks Kampala Office. Since then, we’ve received several reactions from social media — some thinking it’s just a hoax or while others expressing their sympathy to the news, since quite a number of people are being let go. Today, Thoughtworks has confirmed on their website in a just a sentence and said ;ThoughtWorks is closing its office in Kampala, Uganda, on 27th November 2015.

According to our sources, The reason for closing is that Thoughtworks came to Uganda to develop software for a particular client and they were hoping to find other business that will sustain their operations after they are through with this client. Unfortunately, they did not find other contracts and they were spending way more than they were earning so they decided to close Uganda. In any business you always have to look at its sustainability – otherwise you end up financing losses all the time. We feel this is the angle Thoughtworks took when they made their decision.

“In any business you always have to look at its sustainability”

Now, regarding its employees, like in any organization there are key people and supporting staff. In a situation like this, management is undergoing that painful task to choose who to save and who to let go. As part of their culture, ThoughtWorks had always sent Ugandans to work with their other offices, in the USA, China and SouthAfrica.
Between now until the official date of closure, the company is trying to get the key personnel especially developers to shift to other offices, and they will get them the necessary work permits. So unlike the initial reports, ThoughtWorks will apply for those employees the necessary work permits in the countries they will be posted. It should be noted that all employees have contracts and they are being let go according to those contracts and nobody will be let go without fully respecting the contract.
An anonymous source told Techjaja in an email that;
[signoff icon=”email”]”So yes, it is a difficult situation for the company. They also know it is a very difficult time for the team. The morale is down, of course, because decisions like this take time to sink in. People are very sad, they feel left to hang in the dry but this is a reality of life and doing business in Uganda.”[/signoff]
Thoughworks Uganda had trained so many people in best practices when it comes to software design. They have engaged in sharing so much knowledge through Tech Radar and their involvement with various tech communities. They facilitated and engaged with Outbox, HiveColab, AfChix, Women of Passion Program (WoPA), GeekNightKampala, Ruby Friday, Girl Geek Dinner, Black Girls Code, OpenMRS community, Agile Kampala Meetup, Makerere University and Resilient Africa Network.