Got C#? Sick of Commuting? Aussie SaaS Company LF Developers

appenate

Appenate
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Appenate is a Brisbane-based SaaS company (founded 8 years ago by lewstherin, old school MyADSLer), building a leading business applications platform, aimed at the IT channel and enterprise.

Our growing customer base spans over 35 countries, which we support via an integrated team anchored out of Australia and South Africa to improve timezone coverage for our users.

We have embraced the concept of a distributed company, with all team members working from home (or the beach, mountains, cafe, whatever).
Twice a year we fly everyone to an interesting place for a week so that we can work together and hang out face to face. Our next retreat in July/August will be a snow trip to Argentina or Chile!


The Opportunity
Be part of a lean, agile and exciting team that is globally focused and working with cutting-edge mobile and cloud technologies.
It's a great lifestyle change to skip the daily commute and have flexibility in your working hours and location.

Being a small company, we expect all team members to learn fast and play at a high level.
To join us, you need to be self-starting, disciplined and able to communicate well.
We're open to applications from anywhere in South Africa for this role.

We connect and communicate via online tools, so you'll be in regular contact with the whole team. You'll also be provided with whatever equipment you need to be productive.
This role offers an opportunity for you to learn and grow as the company expands, and you'll be working with smart, driven people that are building world-beating software.


Role & Requirements
Our entire codebase is C# and we love the language.
We use Xamarin tools for mobile app dev with an ASP.Net, SQL Server backend running on Azure.
Experience with C# is thus a mandatory requirement. TypeScript would also be a nice extra!

A BSc (Computer Science) is desirable but not a show stopper.

You should have experience with some combination of the following:
- SQL Server
- ASP.Net MVC
- JQuery
- Android dev
- IOS dev
- Xamarin
- WPF / UWP
- Azure
- ServiceStack
- RESTful web services
- MVVM patterns

Two graduate- to intermediate-level positions are available on our backend and web teams at present.
Starting pay range is between R25 - 50k, but really depends on your talent and experience.
We believe in rewarding consistent growth early and often, so what you earn going forward is highly performance-driven.

If you're a more experienced/senior developer, feel free to send us your resume along with your pay expectations. We'll get in touch if we feel you could be a fit.


This looks awesome, how do I apply????

Mail your resume to jobs[at]appenate.com :)
 

Arandompeer

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Dec 15, 2018
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As some who is studying programming, I am curious to know the reason these posts are still available. Is it about the lack of applicants or their quality?
 

cguy

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As some who is studying programming, I am curious to know the reason these posts are still available. Is it about the lack of applicants or their quality?
The work is in reasonably high demand, but also look at the package: R25k-R50k per month. That’s A$24-48k per year, which is less than half the pay range in Australia. It’s also a play to get 2-3 devs for the price of one.
 

Faziki

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The work is in reasonably high demand but also look at the package: R25k-R50k per month. That’s A$24-48k per year, which is less than half the pay range in Australia. It’s also a play to get 2-3 devs for the price of one.
I've worked for them before and their company values and morals are excellent they care about their people as if everyone family. Working hours are from 9 AM - 5 PM they have a strict rule with working past those hours and if it's required that you need to they will adjust your hours the next day (flexible hours) They aren't clock watchers and trust that you will do your work. They inspire you that you want to go above and beyond with your work.

Beyond that, they do get together every X amount of months at a designated place where they work together and play together (do exploring, play games or enjoying each others company) They also use this time to brainstorm ideas and talk about the future of the company and if you have ideas you can use this time to put it forward for discussion.


Yes, the salary package isn't market-related to Australia and its more related to the South African market because they have a team here in South Africa and one in Australia and if you where in Australia they would adjust it to the Australian market.


If you are thinking of applying, do it! You won't regret it.
 
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cguy

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I've worked for them before and their company values and morals are excellent they care about their people as if everyone family. Working hours are from 9 AM - 5 PM they have a strict rule with working past those hours and if it's required that you need to they will adjust your hours the next day (flexible hours) They aren't clock watchers and trust that you will do your work. They inspire you that you want to go above and beyond with your work.

Beyond that, they do get together every X amount of months at a designated place where they work together and play together (do exploring, play games or enjoying each others company) They also use this time to brainstorm ideas and talk about the future of the company and if you have ideas you can use this time to put it forward for discussion.


Yes, the salary package isn't market-related to Australia and its more related to the South African market because they have a team here in South Africa and one in Australia and if you where in Australia they would adjust it to the Australian market.


If you are thinking of applying, do it! You won't regret it.
Good to hear that they are legitimate and treat their employees well. I am not even in the ballpark wrt pay though. Those numbers are where I was roughly 20 years ago.
 

AntiThesis

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Went through the whole interview process with Appenate and can very much recommend. I ended up not going with them for personal reasons but they seemed great and the interview process was excellent.

I can't speak to individual packages that they might offer but the work seemed interesting, work/life balance good and people seemed cool.
 

r4nd0m

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Yes, the salary package isn't market-related to Australia and its more related to the South African market because they have a team here in South Africa and one in Australia and if you where in Australia they would adjust it to the Australian market.
So in other words they're just being opportunistic?

I'm sure they're a wonderful company etc..., but seems disingenuous to me.

I mean dev's know the markets and they know what they're worth.

If it's an Aussie company, why's there a double standard? Because they can get away with it? Because work done here isn't valued the same as work done there?
 

Barbarian Conan

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So in other words they're just being opportunistic?

I'm sure they're a wonderful company etc..., but seems disingenuous to me.

I mean dev's know the markets and they know what they're worth.

If it's an Aussie company, why's there a double standard? Because they can get away with it? Because work done here isn't valued the same as work done there?
There's no double standard. People in different locations get paid differently for the same work. I am sure people working in our Seattle office are paid much more than I am paid for the same work, and it's fine as my expenses are different. If I want to be paid the same, I should be in the same location.
If you want to be paid the same as Ausies, go and work in Australia.
 

r4nd0m

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There's no double standard. People in different locations get paid differently for the same work. I am sure people working in our Seattle office are paid much more than I am paid for the same work, and it's fine as my expenses are different. If I want to be paid the same, I should be in the same location.
If you want to be paid the same as Ausies, go and work in Australia.
I would agree with you if the location tied very heavily into the nature of the job, but this is related to development work which can be done anywhere in the world.

So what's the incentive for the potential employee? Getting paid foreign currency, which could be higher than your local currency, for development work.

What's the incentive for the employer? To hire foreign employees at a lower pay rate, for the same quality work while saving money.

No need for all this 'different market, different location' nonsense. Call it what it is.

Imagine if a South African company tried to hire abroad, they'd have to pay for that expertise out of their ears.

My point is that developers should know their worth and ask for such. The good ones can anyway.
 

Faziki

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So in other words they're just being opportunistic?

I'm sure they're a wonderful company etc..., but seems disingenuous to me.

I mean dev's know the markets and they know what they're worth.

If it's an Aussie company, why's there a double standard? Because they can get away with it? Because work done here isn't valued the same as work done there?
Living costs are different in each country, they don't do this because of its saving them money its because they know what the living cost in SA is and this position is for a graduate to intermediate so for the range that they are paying it's quite good its better than most companies in South Africa offering Graduates and Intermediate developers.

Not sure how much the bracket is for Senior Developers is but, I think it will be more than this.

The main reason why they have 2 teams (not sure if they started a 3rd) is so that the company can overlap into different time zones, meaning that the company is basically active 24 hours in a workweek. If they did create a 3rd team it would be somewhere in the American time zone then its more or less 8 hours overlapping between each time zone
 
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AntiThesis

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So again, I have some insight into this - as they point out, it's very much dependent on your experience and abilities. You could end up higher than the ballpark - depending on how good you are.

If you want to get a good idea, Gitlab employs only remote and they have a compensation calculator public facing right there for you to use. If you look at it, you'll see that in Cape Town, you earn more than in other areas. Likewise, if you select Seattle, the amount goes up pretty heavily.


Side note: I really don't have a horse in this race - I don't work for them but of all the possible things to worry about, starting salary (emphasis on starting) probably isn't one of them.
 

cguy

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In terms of geographic cost of living variations, it makes complete sense to adjust compensation to reflect this. If the same 2-bedroom flat rents for R40k in Seattle and R14k in Cape Town, the salary should be adjusted to reflect this.

Where things become murky, however, is when companies expect to pay less due to standard of living variations. Cars, flights, European hotels, computer equipment, etc. cost (roughly) the same wherever you go. Because the average car in Cape Town costs R300k, and the average car in Seattle costs R600k, should someone in Seattle be paid more (beyond the adjustment to rent, food, restaurant, local entertainment, etc. expenses)? Should an employee in the SF Bay Area fly business class, while someone from Johannesburg flies economy to Europe? If two people in these different CoL areas are saving, should the person in the more expensive area be paid more to save more? What if said person in the expensive locale expects to retire somewhere cheaper, and someone from the poorer area wants to move somewhere more expensive?

Many companies (e.g., buffer.com has a "location base"), that publicize their formulas, will have an additive correction for cost of living, which I believe is fair. Ultimately, in a poorer country, this usually arrives at a salary that is generally better paid than local salaries, and this relative pay gap gets larger as the employee becomes more senior. Because of the location based adjustment, it is generally less than in more expensive areas, but this gap narrows as the employee becomes more senior.

When an overseas company tries to pay purely local rates, it looks to me as though they are being somewhat exploitative - since it admits the fairly common dynamic, where two employees doing the same job now have different standards of living.
 
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retromodcoza

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I did exactly this type of thing for an american firm some years ago. Paid in USD , was better than local rates but way below what I would get in the US.

Morality aside - this is just the invisible hand of the market working and pay rates will reach a price/demand equilibriam eventually , along with a equilibriam in the standard of living.

The market for developers is pretty fluid because of remote work - there are plenty of jobs and moving to another one is not as difficult or time consuming as it might be for other jobs.

If one feels they are underpaid , they can always go back into the job market for a more competitive offer if there is one. Remember - companies don't really have a choice or say in what they pay to their employees and they are as much takers of the prices in the marketplace as employees.
 

lewstherin

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Hey folks, have pulled my old account out of retirement to respond personally.
I founded Appenate back in 2011 and am still leading the company today as CEO.

Cost is definitely a consideration in terms of why we chose South Africa for basing our EMEA team.
The company was self-funded out of my mortgage in the first few years, so being able to hire quality people at less than AU rates was a necessity.

The timezone of GMT+2 is also great for supporting EU and East US clients.
A high proportion of Appenate's clients are in EU and the Americas, so having a team of GMT+2 makes a ton of sense. Australia's timezone sucks for supporting any foreign English-speaking country aside from West US.

The company turned it's first decent profit in 2018 - up until then, customer growth necessitated that we keep hiring to keep quality and velocity going. Being able to scale our team through lower-cost hires in South Africa has been a key reason for where we are today.

If we had wanted to pay properly low wages, we could have hired in any number of other countries. However, my aim was to invest back into SA while also making sure we offered strong career growth, a great remote-based culture and flexible work/life. Along with investment around people, we also do at least one team retreat somewhere in SA each year, which is a nice excuse to pump some cash into SA hospitality businesses.

The company is at a point now where we have been able to profit-share with the team in the past financial year (in AU that's on 30 June) and we'll be doing so again this June. Everyone in the company gets an equal shake on this aspect - we don't do any kind of "cost of living" weighting.

From a monthly pay perspective, we do still apply a cost of living consideration.
While it's true that goods like cars and phones cost roughly the same in AU and SA, the real difference is housing.
A decent 400m2 block of land in an outer AU city suburb will sell for at least AUD200k these days. Add another $200k for a reasonable 4x2 house on that. Rent is similarly a minimum of AUD300/week for a small place.
Additionally, most kinds of labour-based service in AU cost a lot and other stuff like rates, car licenses etc are steep (e.g. an annual vehicle license runs anything from AUD500 upwards).
In short, it's pretty bloody expensive to live in AU!

Our aim with SA team members is to be in the higher end of the market, such that our SA folks can live well. Our younger guys have been able to buy houses already in SA, whereas that is probably a few years away for our AU guys of similar life stage.

With all the above said, the point about "same work, same pay" (leaving aside the obvious cost of living difference) is not lost on me. I take a lot of my business inspiration from the Basecamp guys (google them) and operate Appenate in a similar way. The Basecamp approach is big on equal pay regardless of location.

In 2019, I committed to closing the gap between what our AU team is paid vs our SA (and now days also Argentina!) folks. This is linked to how our headcount growth tracks relative to revenue growth, so it's not going to happen overnight. We're definitely headed in the right direction though :)

Hope this gives some insight into how Appenate views this subject!
 
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r4nd0m

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With all the above said, the point about "same work, same pay" (leaving aside the obvious cost of living difference) is not lost on me. I take a lot of my business inspiration from the Basecamp guys (google them) and operate Appenate in a similar way. The Basecamp approach is big on equal pay regardless of location.

In 2019, I committed to closing the gap between what our AU team is paid vs our SA (and now days also Argentina!) folks.
This is linked to how our headcount growth tracks relative to revenue growth, so it's not going to happen overnight. We're definitely headed in the right direction though :)
I applaud you for taking this philosophy. You seem to genuinely be out for the well-being of all your employees, but I do hope your current and future employees hold you to this claim.

Nice one @lewstherin
 

hsmnel

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The work is in reasonably high demand, but also look at the package: R25k-R50k per month. That’s A$24-48k per year, which is less than half the pay range in Australia. It’s also a play to get 2-3 devs for the price of one.
Why compare the salary to the AU salary, you need to compare apples to apples. Check what the current rate for a graduate developer in Sandton area is, R20K-R25K. Our intermediate developers earn less than R50K. So, this is in my opinion and excellent offer, that rate and working from home with yearly travel, show me how many local companies can offer you that. If I was younger I would have grabbed it without thinking twice.
 

cguy

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Why compare the salary to the AU salary, you need to compare apples to apples. Check what the current rate for a graduate developer in Sandton area is, R20K-R25K. Our intermediate developers earn less than R50K. So, this is in my opinion and excellent offer, that rate and working from home with yearly travel, show me how many local companies can offer you that. If I was younger I would have grabbed it without thinking twice.
The question was why this Australian company is still hiring South Africans in the current (pandemic) economic environment. A key reason is precisely the salary/CTC difference as confirmed by the company owner.

Whether or not the offer is too high or too low for who they’re trying to hire isn’t something I’ve commented on at all.

I have commented on the general structure of international offers and what makes the offer fair or unfair.

I also commented on it from my perspective (since it was suggested I apply) - it is way too low for me. I was already around R22k/m back in the late 90’s as a new graduate and just shy of R40k/m shortly after, but then I’m an entirely different type of software engineer.
 
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lewstherin

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I can answer the question as to why we're still hiring :)

We've always run the company conservatively and with a view to be around for 20+ years (ala Basecamp), so we've maintained a cash buffer that covers roughly 6 months of all forward expenses. While that has meant we don't grow as fast (saving instead of spending), in the current environment having cash on hand has been useful in filling any shortfalls in revenue.
That said, we've been fortunate enough to have had no major drop-off in revenue to date, mainly because some customer groups (e.g. healthcare, cleaning services, government) have spiked their users on our platform.

Given our relatively strong position and the fact that a lot of good people are now in the job market, we decided to accelerate our hiring plans across all teams. This includes AU, where we've added 3 people in the past 2 weeks.
 
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