Here’s how much money developers earn in South Africa

OfferZen has published its 2021 ‘State of the Developer Nation’ report, one of South Africa’s largest data reports on developer careers.

Based on a survey of over 3,500 local developers, the report found that developers are most keen to work with the Python programming language.

Python is one of the prominent languages used for machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). 38% of total responses indicates that Python is the language most local developers want to work with this year.

The most exciting industry in 2021 is AI/cloud technology followed by FinTech and cybersecurity, OfferZen said.

Developers in cloud-based engineering also feel most confident about their career growth compared to any other industry, another indicator of this up and coming sector.

“Developers are, by the very nature of their work, at the cutting edge of technology and they’re telling us that ML and AI are not going to be on the edge for very long,” said Stephen van der Heijden, vice president of Growth at OfferZen.

“It’s going to be right in the middle of what we do and what we build – even more so than they already are.”

JavaScript remains the most used language by SA developers – 62% of responses indicate it is the most used language by local developers.

“What makes this super interesting is that we also asked developers to rate what they think are the most promising industries. When you see the results, it’s pretty clear that our industry is shifting to the data, cloud computing and AI world, and it’s doing so fast,” van der Heijden said.

Salaries 

When it comes to salaries, the survey found that developers in the FinTech and cloud technology industries earn the highest salaries.

Junior developers earn between R23,000 and R35,000 per month in FinTech, while those in cloud-based engineering earn between R27,000 and R33,000.

Intermediate developers with 4+ years experience earn between R45,000 and R58,000 in FinTech, and between R44,000 and R60,000 in cloud-based engineering.

Developers with niche coding languages, such as Go and Ruby, can command higher salaries. The starting salary for a Ruby developer is R30,000 with developers who have 10+ years experience earning over R86,000 per month.

“Despite the pandemic and companies rethinking their immediate priorities, we’re still seeing growth in the tech industry and OfferZen’s platform activity is at an all-time high.

“Change is upon us, and I’m excited about the data we have that can give us an indication of where the industry is heading,”  said van der Heijden.

While one in three developers are looking to change jobs in the next 12 months, when asked about the reasons they would choose to stay at their current company, the top three were growth and learning (52%), a healthy work-life balance (51%) and company culture (48%).

When it comes to career growth, developers say the top factors they’re looking for are opportunities to work on challenging projects (56%), learn new languages and frameworks (48%), and access mentoring and coaching (40%).

Younger developers – 80% of those aged between 18 and 20 – said they want to learn a new programming language every few months.

“This eagerness to continuously learn means the tech industry remains adaptable and shifts faster than any other,” said van der Heijden.


Read: UCT MBA ranked best in Africa – here’s how much it costs

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Here’s how much money developers earn in South Africa