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Development News South Africa

Developer salaries in South Africa revealed

According to OfferZen's recently released 2021 State of the Developer Nation report, developers in the fintech and cloud technology industries earn the highest salaries in their field. 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.
Developer salaries in South Africa revealed
©Olena Kachmar –

The report further found that intermediate developers with four+ years of 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 of experience earning over R86,000 per month.

The keenest language to work with and most exciting industry

Based on a survey of over 3,500 local developers, 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. This demonstrates the shift to a more digital world as a result of the pandemic, remote work and rapid digitisation. The other most exciting industries from top to bottom are: Robotics, gaming, e-commerce/D2C, crypto, and agritech.

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.

The top six languages developers currently work with most

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

Developer salaries in South Africa revealed

Stephen van der Heijden, VP of growth at OfferZen, says: “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.”

Growth opportunities are important to retaining developers

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%).

Developer salaries in South Africa revealed

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.

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