We've heard a lot about how the software development industry is growing, largely thanks to the chaos of 2020. It's when people realised the importance of operating in the new digital-first business landscape. Now, we're taking a look at what this landscape looks like in South Africa, and in Johannesburg in particular. If you're looking to start an app or software development project in Joburg, here are a few things you should know about how the industry is working in 2021...
Joburg software development insights
What's the most exciting industry for developers to be in?
When developers were asked which industry they believed was set to make waves in 2021, there was a clear winner. The AI and cloud engineering industry came out on top, with a whopping 66.5% of the votes. It was followed by FinTech, cybersecurity, robotics, gaming and E-commerce - in that order. It might not be surprising that local developers want to be part of the AI and cloud technology field that offers them loads of opportunity to test their skills and work with the latest tech advancements. These insights also show how important the digital world is, as people continue to work, bank and shop remotely. If your app development project is related to one of these fields, you're onto something.
Are developers happy in their careers?
This might seem like an odd question to ask, but if you're about to hire a dedicated team of Johannesburg software developers, you'll want to know they're exactly that. Dedicated to your project and happy to be working in an industry they're passionate about. Fortunately, the majority of developers are confident in their career growth, and 2 in 3 are satisfied with career growth at their current company. Only 9.1% of local developers are currently looking for work, while 23% would still like to be working at the same company in the next five years. So the team that starts your development project is likely to be the team that's there to finish it. Good news for you.
What do developers want out of their jobs?
The biggest thing developers are looking for in their careers is the opportunity to learn and grow, and the chance to take on challenging projects. These are passionate, hard-working individuals who want to put their skills to the test. If you're outsourcing app or software development, you probably couldn't ask for better responses. It means your team will be excited to take on your project, and the more challenging the better. Don't be afraid to put Joburg developers to the test, because that's exactly the kind of task they're after.
How important is education in software development?
This a tricky question to answer because, as in many fields, experience can come to outweigh traditional education. According to a local survey, one fifth of developers don't have a university degree, and 13% of developers surveyed started university but didn't finish their degrees. However, when you start out in the industry, a more qualified developer will earn more than one with only a high school certificate. But, later on in their careers, developers without degrees can match the earnings of their degreed colleagues. Maybe it's a mixed bag that really does the trick, and helps take your software development project to the next level.
What are the gender stats?
Unfortunately, the local software development industry is still predominantly male dominated. Insights show that 83.6% of the developers surveyed were male, and only 14.4% female. While these numbers are hugely disparate, gender equality in software development is a global issue. As of 2020, only 14% of the software engineering workforce was made up by women. But, hopefully, with things like the Women In Tech Africa conferences and organisations such as Coding Mamas, we'll soon start to level out the field. The more varied and diverse your development team, the more successful he project is likely to be.
The above information was extracted from the OfferZen State of the Software Developer Nation report for 2021. The data in the report does not claim to be representative of the entire South African developer population. Any time the word ‘developer’ is used, it refers to the group of developers who took the #SADevNation survey in 2020. In terms of location, 35.9% of participants were based in Johannesburg, with 37.9% based in Cape Town. The remaining developers were from elsewhere in South Africa.