A dangerous number of South African IT professionals are leaving

me_

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How do you know that the market salaries for devs are higher than managers? Asking because I haven’t actually seen any survey results either way.

My direct experience as an SA employee is outdated, but I’ve been pinged throughout the years about various positions and the managerial numbers (some for the same company) are always 20% higher than the “very” senior dev numbers I’ve been given.

Also, somewhat anecdotal, but having to move to management to break their ceiling is a constant complaint from most of my SA colleagues.

I'm not sure exactly where the data comes from. Our HR department uses a vendor to provide annual bands across all titles to ensure our salaries remain in line with market trends. If there are shifts in the bands then those are worked into increase cycles.

There was a recent MyBB survey and you can see the results at:
https://mybroadband.co.za/news/busi...-how-much-people-really-get-paid-in-2019.html
The numbers in that report are very low in my view - especially for senior devs, however devs typically report into Middle management. If you look at Mid-level IT Manager comes in @ R55,000 and Senior Programming comes in @ R65,500, it shows Seniors typically earning more than their managers.

There is no category in that survey for senior technical specialists (Engineers, Architects, etc) - their salary bands are typically more in line (and can exceed) senior managers.
 

cguy

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I'm not sure exactly where the data comes from. Our HR department uses a vendor to provide annual bands across all titles to ensure our salaries remain in line with market trends. If there are shifts in the bands then those are worked into increase cycles.

There was a recent MyBB survey and you can see the results at:
https://mybroadband.co.za/news/busi...-how-much-people-really-get-paid-in-2019.html
The numbers in that report are very low in my view - especially for senior devs, however devs typically report into Middle management. If you look at Mid-level IT Manager comes in @ R55,000 and Senior Programming comes in @ R65,500, it shows Seniors typically earning more than their managers.

There is no category in that survey for senior technical specialists (Engineers, Architects, etc) - their salary bands are typically more in line (and can exceed) senior managers.

Well, it shows that some seniors earn more than some managers. One issue with these surveys is that they don’t really define the titles well. IT Manager... could manage sys admins, QA, desktop support, etc. In fact, just about any other group in that list, many who would bring their average down.
 

GoB

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In my experience, I'd also be surprised to find Senior Programmers earning more than their manager.

In my current company, the role bands technically allow this (senior programmer role size equals the lowest managerial role size), but the manager can progress to higher role sizes.

The role sizing typically places a business analyst on the same level, and I would say that typically the perception is that earnings should be analyst programmer <= business analyst < manager.
 

me_

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Well, it shows that some seniors earn more than some managers. One issue with these surveys is that they don’t really define the titles well. IT Manager... could manage sys admins, QA, desktop support, etc. In fact, just about any other group in that list, many who would bring their average down.

Typically all those managers would be in the same salary band. You might have the odd dev manager that manages a really small team and is therefore a developer and manager and may get paid more. Likewise on the sysadmin side where the manager may also be a senior sysadmin.
 

cguy

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Typically all those managers would be in the same salary band. You might have the odd dev manager that manages a really small team and is therefore a developer and manager and may get paid more. Likewise on the sysadmin side where the manager may also be a senior sysadmin.

What I am saying is that a desktop support manager typically makes way less than a software engineering manager, if they’re lumped together, the average will be brought down, so “IT Manager” shouldn’t be compared to “senior software engineers” due to the biased aggregation in the former, and the non-aggregation of the latter.
 

me_

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What I am saying is that a desktop support manager typically makes way less than a software engineering manager, if they’re lumped together, the average will be brought down, so “IT Manager” shouldn’t be compared to “senior software engineers” due to the biased aggregation in the former, and the non-aggregation of the latter.

A desktop support manager typically wouldn't be a middle manager. They are typically low managers (sometimes called team leads) so they should be coming in at the entry level and not at the mid level in the survey.
 

cguy

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A desktop support manager typically wouldn't be a middle manager. They are typically low managers (sometimes called team leads) so they should be coming in at the entry level and not at the mid level in the survey.

I doubt that the survey or participants are making such distinctions (I.e., the survey is likely broken up by percentile, not asking their level). If a person has direct reports, officially knows their compensation, decides their compensation distribution, hires/fires, gives performance reviews, etc., they will be considered a manager by any organization I’ve ever heard of and have a title to match. A person who manages such managers will typically be called a senior manager, or even a director in smaller sub organizations. This entire hierarchy will have a different price point in comparison to one that has a more advanced function.

I have funnily enough even seen extreme inflation of the title - e.g., in a small company where the single system administrator is called the IT Manager, because they manage the servers and not people. It’s just a terminology issue, but I am sure some would specify IT management as their job function.
 
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jambai

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To me If you read between the lines ,It is still the white males that have the most relevant I.T skills and experience ( combination of factors ) but don’t fit into the narrative of bee( more promotion or a career path issue) as well as we need more females in IT ( where less females interested in becoming developers etc ) so good IT skill feels this but maybe don’t say anything and just looks for work overseas as rand can’t compete and other pull factors . This basically means companies are struggling to recruit the super stars that patience would normally bring from the recruitment process as they mostly not in the country any more as talent pool has decreased or the talent pool very small as best ones have jobs that are well paid .

To have one Einstein you need a population a certain size of scientists . In sa that population size is decreasing( using scientist as example ) . My point is on a high level basis and not saying all white males are the superstars I am more referring to the pool of talent .
 
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Other Pineapple Smurf

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Reality is that most unemployed 40-plus white developers are really just toxic in the workspace. There are many of them, many.

People skills, not technical, are in a short supply.

I've had over a dozen conversation in the last two months with local companies and everyone of them repeat the same story for critical hires: we had a guy in here, excellent skills but real ass***le so we did not make him an offer.

I'm a 44yr old white male, not been unemployed since my 20s. No shortage of opportunities for me in the IT industry after I decided to not be an ****** and instead work towards mentoring/growing other groups into the industry.
 

Urist

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Reality is that most unemployed 40-plus white developers are really just toxic in the workspace. There are many of them, many.

People skills, not technical, are in a short supply.

I've had over a dozen conversation in the last two months with local companies and everyone of them repeat the same story for critical hires: we had a guy in here, excellent skills but real ass***le so we did not make him an offer.

I'm a 44yr old white male, not been unemployed since my 20s. No shortage of opportunities for me in the IT industry after I decided to not be an ****** and instead work towards mentoring/growing other groups into the industry.

As a 38 year old I don't see myself in one of those RAD teams and the extreme programmers sharing a keyboard using their agile methods while sitting on beanbags on their colourful cubicles. Just put me in an office and tell me what you want and i`ll deliver it no problem.
 

zippy

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As a 38 year old I don't see myself in one of those RAD teams and the extreme programmers sharing a keyboard using their agile methods while sitting on beanbags on their colourful cubicles. Just put me in an office and tell me what you want and i`ll deliver it no problem.
I doubt that keyboard sharing is significantly used anywhere. As for coding on bean bags, I would guess that these developers are soon coding from hospital beds.

The reality is that agile methods are adjusted to fit the needs. It’s never done as per the text book. It’s not meant to be. It wouldn’t be agile anymore. The first mistake people make is that they think they no longer need specs because it’s “agile”. Isn’t long before they have irrelevant user stories coming out of their ears because people start making crap up along the way and suddenly what’s being built gets rejected by the business or gets forced on the business and it’s all downhill from there :)

It’s very easy for RAD to just churn out rubbish, rapidly
 

Urist

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I doubt that keyboard sharing is significantly used anywhere. As for coding on bean bags, I would guess that these developers are soon coding from hospital beds.

The reality is that agile methods are adjusted to fit the needs. It’s never done as per the text book. It’s not meant to be. It wouldn’t be agile anymore. The first mistake people make is that they think they no longer need specs because it’s “agile”. Isn’t long before they have irrelevant user stories coming out of their ears because people start making crap up along the way and suddenly what’s being built gets rejected by the business or gets forced on the business and it’s all downhill from there :)

It’s very easy for RAD to just churn out rubbish, rapidly

Sounds to me like buzzwords, just analyze the needs and develop a solution, Guess that pushes me up to that insufferable 40+'s. Users didn't spend accumulative 10 years in front of their PC screens, they're not sure what they want.
 

Other Pineapple Smurf

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The beauty about this industry is how quickly we can upskill to fill in most of the gaps - most, but not all.

The barriers need to be removed, mentorships need to be encouraged and recognition needs to be given. We also need to shift towards thinking like engineers instead of acting like developers.

It also amazes me how the white guys with a developer mindset call themselves seniors in less than five years, yet think without them the local industry will move to India in the next decade.
 

GoB

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It also amazes me how the white guys with a developer mindset call themselves seniors in less than five years, yet think without them the local industry will move to India in the next decade.

I hope that I don't have any of these mindsets.

I do object when a company is willing to pay a large sign on bonus plus a large percentage above current employees' salaries to an unproven candidate without any additional skills.
 

cguy

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It also amazes me how the white guys with a developer mindset call themselves seniors in less than five years, yet think without them the local industry will move to India in the next decade.

Those guys with less than five years experience, would have become people with almost 25 years of experience 20 years from now. Now they will be applying that experience elsewhere. The issue isn’t just the immediate skill loss, it is the potential that is being lost, and the difficulty in competing with the countries it is being lost to.

Even a new graduate moving to another country, is a potentially game changing talent that is being leaked. This issue transcends whether or not they are white, since the same potential is being lost by the numerous non-whites leaving the country too (at all level of experience).
 

cguy

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To me If you read between the lines ,It is still the white males that have the most relevant I.T skills and experience ( combination of factors ) but don’t fit into the narrative of bee( more promotion or a career path issue) as well as we need more females in IT ( where less females interested in becoming developers etc ) so good IT skill feels this but maybe don’t say anything and just looks for work overseas as rand can’t compete and other pull factors . This basically means companies are struggling to recruit the super stars that patience would normally bring from the recruitment process as they mostly not in the country any more as talent pool has decreased or the talent pool very small as best ones have jobs that are well paid .

To have one Einstein you need a population a certain size of scientists . In sa that population size is decreasing( using scientist as example ) . My point is on a high level basis and not saying all white males are the superstars I am more referring to the pool of talent .

The problem is actually more severe than just the size of the pool, it is the way the pool is being selected. Those going tend to have degrees, experience, specialities, can demonstrate their abilities in an interview setting, pass personality/fit tests, meet international hiring bars, be on country scarce skill lists, meet foreign country visa requirements, etc.
 
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Gnome

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India in the next decade.
I've spent a fair amount of time in the US working in various offices.
Most developers these days are from India or China.

If you know how to run a remote team, I don't see why it is impossible to make the Indian contractors thing work.
Keep a few in house guys, do code reviews, have milestones, etc.

If code quality is your problem, then there is a problem with your process.
 

Hamster

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People skills, not technical, are in a short supply.

This. Over and over I tell the guys to go speak to the people in the other departments (their "clients" since they are developing for them) and listen to what they really want, see how they work etc. Very few actually do it (in fact, one guy besides me).
 

Other Pineapple Smurf

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Those guys with less than five years experience, would have become people with almost 25 years of experience 20 years from now. Now they will be applying that experience elsewhere. The issue isn’t just the immediate skill loss, it is the potential that is being lost, and the difficulty in competing with the countries it is being lost to.

Even a new graduate moving to another country, is a potentially game changing talent that is being leaked. This issue transcends whether or not they are white, since the same potential is being lost by the numerous non-whites leaving the country too (at all level of experience).

You are missing the point, white guys with limited experience think without them, that is privileged pale males, the local industry will collapse.

I just went through over a dozen interviews for positions where there really is a skill shortage and I know what it takes to fill them - the reason why I get head hunted.

The local industry is at a turning point and the companies that invest in the potential you mention will be the ones that survive. I'm actually joining such a company to become one of their many diversity champions and get involved in mentorship.
 

Other Pineapple Smurf

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I've spent a fair amount of time in the US working in various offices.
Most developers these days are from India or China.

If you know how to run a remote team, I don't see why it is impossible to make the Indian contractors thing work.
Keep a few in house guys, do code reviews, have milestones, etc.

If code quality is your problem, then there is a problem with your process.

+1

Not enough local devs and managers understand this. I've really been enjoying your posts the most on this thread.
 
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