Software developer salaries in South Africa

The demand for skills in South Africa’s Information Technology (IT) sector has grown significantly since pre-Covid levels, but the average salary in the industry has dropped slightly during the same period.

MyBroadband spoke to CareerJunction managing director Paul Byrne regarding the demand for skills in the industry.

“The IT sector — as at the end of 1Q22 — has grown to 113% of pre-Covid demand,” he said.

“As a point of reference, demand — as at the end of 1Q21 — had fallen to 79% of where it had been pre-Covid (1Q20).”

However, the demand for such skills has declined slightly over the past three months.

“Although Information Technology continues to be the top-performing employment sector in South Africa, hiring activity in this area has declined by 3% in the last three months,” CareerJunction’s Employment Insights report for June 2022 reads.

“This decline may be partly attributed to increased emigration as travel restrictions are relaxed as well as the growing trend of “digital nomads” in the IT space.”

Bryne explained that despite the nominal decrease in demand, IT skills remain the most sought-after in South Africa’s job market.

The most in-demand software developer skills, and their salary ranges, are summarised in the table below.

Most in-demand software development skills
Role Salary range (monthly)
1. Java developer R44,015 – R64,802
2. C# developer R39,202 – R57,222
3. .Net developer R38,128 – R56,619
4. Full stack developer R36,791 – R59,073

According to CareerJunction’s data, the progression of software development salaries from late 2020 to the end of the first quarter of 2022 shows a general decline.

However, OfferZen’s State of the Developer Nation report for 2022 tells a slightly different story.

Its data showed that the average salaries of senior software developers have increased by 19% since 2019, while less-experienced developers saw their wages increase by 7.4% over the same period.

More specifically, it showed that backend developers earn the highest salaries among senior and junior developers.

OfferZen found that JavaScript remains the most used programming language, followed by C# and TypeScript, and that Go is climbing the ranks of the most desired programming languages.

However, Python remains the most desired programming language among South African developers.

According to OfferZen, software developers working in Cape Town are still the highest-earning compared to other South African cities.

However, it specified that while this has been the trend for the past three years, the gap is closing.

The progression of software developer salaries as of the end of Q1:2022. Source: CareerJunction.

Since the lifting of Covid-19 regulations, many companies still allow their employees to continue with a hybrid working approach, meaning they need robust cloud computing software to secure company and client data.

According to OfferZen, Amazon Web Services (AWS) dominates in South Africa.

AWS is used for 43.2% of cloud platforms in the country, followed by Microsoft Azure with 29.6% and Google Cloud Platform with 14.4%.

OfferZen’s data also revealed that around 92% of South African developers work remotely, whether it be in a hybrid format or a complete work-from-home setup.

More specifically, 51% of developers work in a remote-only setup, followed by 41% who split their time between the office and home.

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Software developer salaries in South Africa