This sought-after job title in South Africa has an issue


Of the 26.8 million lively software program builders globally, solely 121,000 reside in South Africa – out of a complete of 716,000 in Africa.

Add to this the truth that 38% of African builders work for at the least one organisation exterior of the continent and it’s clear why tech expertise is difficult to come back by for South African corporations.

That is based on Malcolm Laing, former Investec Group CIO and founding member of the Academy of Accelerated Know-how Training (AATE), who mentioned that as an alternative of corporates combating over a finite variety of tech candidates, initiatives aimed toward rising the expertise pipeline via on-the-job coaching and giving junior builders a leg up make much more sense.

The transfer from monolithic on-premises IT options to in-Cloud rent-and-assemble fashions is additional exacerbating the unrelenting demand for tech expertise domestically and globally, mentioned Laing.

He pointed to the most recent 2021 ICT Abilities Survey which highlighted practically 10,000 hard-to-fill positions within the South African info and communications know-how (ICT) sector, in a rustic the place 12.5% of graduates are unemployed.

“There are simply not sufficient technical abilities within the nation to fulfill enterprise demand. That’s the crux of the matter – there’s no lack of intelligence. These graduates are wonderful – we discover good folks popping out of the schools, however their technical abilities aren’t fairly what’s required on the job, which partly is because of college curriculums not maintaining with the tempo of technological change and so the graduates are unable to hit the bottom operating,” mentioned Laing.

“That’s to not say that universities don’t have a spot in instructing foundational tech abilities. In case you are taught the fundamentals of know-how correctly and also you perceive the influence of code, then you definitely perceive the underlying fundamentals of the tech world, however each 18 months the tech trade is altering,” he mentioned.

These sentiments are echoed by Stephen van der Heijden, VP of group at OfferZen, who mentioned that expertise is universally distributed, however alternative just isn’t. In brief, there are folks which might be undiscovered that aren’t realising their potential and the mission is to search out these undiscovered builders.


OfferZen, a know-how expertise specialist, revealed its State of the Developer Nation report for 2022, in February, displaying that the typical salaries of senior software program builders have elevated by 19% since 2019, whereas less-experienced builders noticed their wages enhance by 7.4% over the identical interval.

The report discovered that over 30% of South African builders have been seeking to transfer jobs throughout the subsequent 3-12 months. Work-life stability is the primary motive South African builders keep in a task, based on the report’s findings.

General, fewer South African builders want to transfer overseas this yr than in 2021. On the identical time, the bulk continues to be open to discovering jobs abroad and 1 in 5 are actively exploring alternatives internationally.

Senior builders are the more than likely to already be exploring new pastures, whereas tech leads are more than likely to remain put throughout the completely different seniority ranges, mentioned OfferZen.


In line with van der Heijden, the vast majority of junior software program builders swap employment each few months.

For a software program firm, onboarding and coaching juniors after which quickly shedding them is usually a expensive train. The acute junior developer drawback, based on Van der Heijden can be that and not using a earlier observe report, firms discover it troublesome to evaluate junior software program builders’ skills.

“Because of this, they use work expertise as a proxy for high quality. It’s laborious to get employed when you’ve got no work expertise, and that is very true within the software program growth subject.”

These components make it robust for junior builders to land nice developer jobs the place they’ll be taught and develop – even because the career continues to develop in measurement and significance in our financial system, mentioned Van der Heijden.

As such, world know-how firms, corporates, native educators and governments must strengthen the developer pipeline by investing in schooling that builds belief in these builders and makes them readily employable.

“In South Africa, we have now greater than 600,000 unemployed college graduates. If we absorb 10% of graduates, who probably studied the incorrect diploma or are simply struggling to discover a job – that’s 60,000 folks with an accelerated studying observe throughout three important ability paths: Cloud-certified software program engineers, safety engineers and information scientists,” mentioned Laing.

On completion of the programme, college students will take the Institute of Chartered Data Know-how Professionals (ICITP) board examination, which can present them with a South African {Qualifications} Authority (SAQA)-recognised qualification of their chosen specialisation.

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