.Net possibilities and general life in Durban

Neville

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Hi all

I'm considering moving from Cape Town to Durban for various reasons. I'm a developer with 20 years experience and although most people of that calibre end up in management, I still prefer to keep my hands dirty with coding :)
Started and mainframe Cobol, Natural/Adabas many years ago but have been doing desktop and web dev mostly in the Microsoft stack for the last 10 years plus.

1. How is the work front look like for .Net devs in Durban?
2. How is life in Durban in general? I.e. cost of living, housing (I'll be renting), traffic, crime...?
3. Where do people live in Durban? I'm guessing much like CPT and JHB people often live away from the CBD but work in town or other mini business hubs e.g. Sandton, Midrand, etc.

I'm born and bread in KZN (Port Shepstone) but spent all my adult, working life in Jhb and CPT. I have never lived in Durban.

Any Durban devs on here that can share their experience?

Cheers
Neville
 

sp4ceman

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durban dot net id look at derivco first up. there are other places obviously but derivco is pretty well known. mr price is another well known company but i have heard scary things regarding their systems and practices. a friend who worked there once copy pasted me a button click function he'd found with like 2000 lines in it.. thoroughtec does simulations and stuff im not sure of they are dotnet or still in c++.

hillcrest is turning into a bit of a dev hub also. companies like chillisoft and the unlimited and dev2 are in hillcrest. clyral is another company that's in dotnet.

i stayed in umhlanga while at derivco but people would commute from all over. staying in umhlanga is like staying in cape town. you can walk around at night, security guards everywhere, rich people everywhere and crap loads of ferraris. its crazy expensive though but you're always against most of the traffic.

staying in durban is staying in durban. you go from awesome area to terrible to good again in like 3 blocks.

the lifestyle can't be beat. i miss the ocean and the beach. gateway is the best mall around and the cinemas are nuts plus they have the only imax in sa.

oh yeah also if you move quick enough you can win a super 15 trophy.
 
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sp4ceman

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from where?

jhb is jhb so yeah generally it pays more. but it's not as bad as you think. 30 to 50k is the norm if you know what you're doing and it scales up. i know people earning insane amounts at some of the places i mentioned.

i looked at dotnet in cape town and nobody wanted to match my salary. living costs are cheaper than most jhb and ct prices and our commutes are generally a lot quicker too.
 
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Neville

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I'm in CPT at the moment and life is not bad here. I know I can earn 20-30% more in Jhb but am not interested. Served my 9 year sentence there already..not going back :p

I'm an old Shark, by birth so still shout nothing else, don't worry!

Thanks for the tips...some good info there. I know of dev2 but none of the rest you mentioned. Appreciated. So actually doesn't sound too bad.
 

sp4ceman

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dev2 is basically owned by the same people who own the unlimited. the unlimited started work on a work flow based codegen and they spun that off into a separate product that dev2 now works on full time. the offices are right next door to each other and they share facilities etc. not a bad place to work.

dev2s product is now called warewolf.io if you wanna download it and take a look.
 

Neville

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Cool man. Actually been looking at dev2 and Warewolf already but nice to hear some confirmation. Sounds like a good place to be, you've confirmed that.
 

noob_saibot

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I've read on forums (including this one) that the Durban CBD and area itself is "ssshhh11ttttt", but the coastal towns north and south of durban are great (well some of them).

I assume Umhlanga would count as one of them.

Plus the weather is great year round (if you enjoy warm weather), something which neither CPT or JHB has.

Don't know if this might help your decision, but I thought I'd share my input.
 
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Neville

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Most big CBD's not cool. CPT probably the only exception although even it has parts I avoid. But shot dude, all input appreciated.

I grew up on the Natal South Coast... so yeah, hot weather, bring it on! ;-)
 

semaphore

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dev2s product is now called warewolf.io if you wanna download it and take a look.

Downloaded this. Peaked my interest due to the fact i have written a BPM tool. There studio tool is hideous, they need to really do some work on it.
 

sp4ceman

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i think they're hiring people to do just that... its still in beta so it's not exactly a finished product.

tbh i don't see it going places i don't get why it's needed or what you gain by using it
 

semaphore

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i think they're hiring people to do just that... its still in beta so it's not exactly a finished product.

tbh i don't see it going places i don't get why it's needed or what you gain by using it

Well exactly, especially when you have tools such as K2.

Our engine does code compilation on the fly and has pretty much every feature of warewolf and more. Why pay for something when you can write it yourself. But there is free for now. I laughed when i saw the folder, dependency much.
 

sp4ceman

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i would imagine k2 is a lot more expensive than what warewolf.io is aiming at.

im distrustful of code gens in general they all seem to have this pitch where these businessmen are sitting in meetings playing with lego blocks and making crucial changes to business logic in real time and that's nuts.

also i have no clue how you would test this thing or any code gen really.
 

semaphore

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i would imagine k2 is a lot more expensive than what warewolf.io is aiming at.

im distrustful of code gens in general they all seem to have this pitch where these businessmen are sitting in meetings playing with lego blocks and making crucial changes to business logic in real time and that's nuts.

also i have no clue how you would test this thing or any code gen really.

Not everything is about TDD. The Lego blocks you speak of is basic high level process modelling. Our tool has a feature that allows for basic simulations.
 

Neville

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@semaphore and @sp4ceman, do you work or stay in Durbs? How's life there?
 

MartinMorrison

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Durban is extremely limited in tech opportunities. I'm not sure why you'd come here if you're looking to move your career forward, unless you're looking to start your own company. Having looked at the options myself it seems limited to the above mentioned companies which I find really restrictive - I know many people working in the above companies and to me it doesn't seem overly exciting.

Living in Durban - this would be a great place to retire. The weather is good, and people are extremely laid back - but this makes trying to get even basic stuff done is frustrating. The demographics are different to CPT and JHB in a way that doesn't foster a 'doing' attitude. That's my opinion. Umhlanga is nice but seriously tiny. I can imagine it getting old very quickly. Venturing into town is horrible but the suburbs are pleasant and we have nice malls and beaches. If you're a beach person you could love it.
 

DominionZA

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Left Durban 12 years ago. Grew up there. Will never see me back. Place sucks. Weather sucks.
 

Neville

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@MartinMorrison, its funny what you say as most people in Gauteng say exactly the same about us in CPT hence the name Slaapstad :) I dare you to try get anything done in CPT on a Friday after noon... :p
 
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