South African developers some of the best paid in the world

South African developers are the second-best paid in the world after adjusting their salaries for purchasing power. This is according to the results from Stack Overflow’s 2015 developer survey.

Stack Overflow said it conducted its 45-question survey to “better understand our community and help our community better understand itself”.

The survey was completed by 26,086 people from 157 countries. 6,800 respondents identified themselves as full-stack developers, 1,900 as mobile developers, 1,200 as front-end developers, 2 as farmers, and 12,000 as something else.

No surveys conducted online are without bias and Stack Overflow highlighted that just like the results of any survey, its are skewed by selection bias, language bias, “and probably a few other biases.”

In spite of this, the survey still provides insight into the global software development community.

Compensation by purchasing power

Country How many Big Macs can you buy? Average Salary
Ukraine 21,825 $26,190.48
South Africa 19,215 $42,658.23
United States 18,712 $89,631.68
Australia 17,802 $76,904.76
Russia 17,571 $23,897.28
United Kingdom 15,757 $68,860.59
Israel 15,280 $68,000
Canada 14,711 $68,262.48
Ireland 14,661 $62,456.14
New Zealand 14,042 $63,052.63
China 13,803 $38,235.29

In its analysis of the results of the survey, Stack Overflow explained that comparing salary amounts directly doesn’t give an accurate reflection of the quality of life that can be purchased for a given salary.

“When it comes to quality of life, dollars, Euros, and Yen don’t matter. Big Macs matter,” Stack Overflow said.

“The Economist’s Big Mac Index is a measure of purchasing power parity that can be used to compare the true value of compensation between workers in different economies.”

In South Africa, where a Big Mac costs about $2.22 (R25.50), a $42,658.23 average salary is expected to go further than in the US where the average developer salary is $89,631.68 and a Big Mac costs $4.79.

Caffeine intake

Country Caffeinated beverages per day (avg.)
Norway 3.09
Netherlands 3.04
Sweden 2.94
Finland 2.76
Iran 2.74
Denmark 2.7
South Africa 2.59
United Kingdom 2.54
Turkey 2.5
Germany 2.44

Another area where South Africa ranked highly in Stack Overflow’s results is on the caffeine intake charts.

South African developers consume an average of 2.59 caffeinated beverages per day whether it be coffee, tea, or some form of carbonated cold drink.

Nordic devs put the rest of us to shame, though, Stack Overflow said.

Those interested in taking a look at the full results of the survey can see them on the Stack Overflow 2015 Developer Survey page.

More on the Stack Overflow developer survey

What software developers really like, and hate

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
South African developers some of the best paid in the world