Talent marketplace OfferZen has conducted a survey with a view to understanding South Africa’s developer community a bit better.

The survey polled 4 000 developers in September and the findings are incredibly interesting.

This is especially true when looking at education. OfferZen found that the younger a developer starts learning to code, the higher their earning potential may be later in life.

Over 50 percent of devs who started coding before high school now earn upwards of R60 000 per month. Comparitively, developers who only started coding in their late 20s earned less than R30 000 per month.

On that note just over 25 percent of local developers are self-taught and earn the same as their formally educated counterparts.

Developers looking for lucrative work right now, may want to explore careers in fintech, cloud, healthcare and ecommerce as OfferZen found these sectors earn developers the most money.

Average salaries in the fintech sector come in at R39 000 per month while web developers take home the least with an average salary of R28 211 per month.

Junior developers earn the most in data and analytics while senior developers earn the most in cloud-based solutions.

But salary is not the only consideration for developers says OfferZen’s vice president of Growth, Stephen van der Heijden.

“Importantly, developers in South Africa care more about company culture than the tech stack. And the leading reason developers in South Africa turn down a job remains a lack of growth opportunities – if they’re not convinced that a role can offer professional growth, there’s a good chance that they’ll turn it down,” says the VP.

Other key considerations are flexi-hours and the option to work remotely.

As for the most popular coding languages, JavaScript is top of the pops but Python is quickly climbing in popularity. However, the top earners Go and Ruby are your best bets for high earnings while PHP development earns the least, no matter your experience.

Something that should be addressed however is the gross lack of diversity in the developer space.

The survey respondents were predominantly white males from Johannesburg with an average age of 25. While there is a growing number of black developers entering the fray, more needs to be done to get people of colour and women into the space.

Last week Kaspersky revealed that there is a serious lack of female representation in the cybersecurity sector globally and it appears that trend is present in the local development space as well.

To end on a somewhat lighter note, a key consideration for prospective developers is the quality of coffee the company offers. Of course, that goes for most employees because if you’re going to ask us to wake up at 5AM to be on time for work, the least you can do is give us a decent caffeine fix.

The full State of South Africa’s Software Developer Nation can be found on the OfferZen website.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]