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Jobs: Key skills you need for a career in software development

Software developers earn the most in Cape Town, followed by those in Johannesburg, and Pretoria. Picture: File

Software developers earn the most in Cape Town, followed by those in Johannesburg, and Pretoria. Picture: File

Published Jun 20, 2022

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is all the rage, with the government putting an emphasis on careers in technology because of the country’s skills shortage.

Digital and software development is one of the jobs in demand. According to the jobs portal, OfferZen, developer salaries have, on average, increased by 7.4% since 2019.

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In 2022, software developers earn the most in Cape Town, followed by those in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

“Over the past two years, software has proven to be a formidable force. Even when entire industries had to fold, the African software engineering industry experienced unprecedented growth in 2021,” says OfferZen.

Jessica Hawkey, Managing Director of redAcademy, says in a digital world where purpose is more important than ever before, a young person needs certain skills to master a career in this field.

According to Hawkey, these are the skills you need for a career in software development:

Job-specific skills

“As you start learning to become a developer, you will learn different coding languages, you’ll learn about data and databases, testing procedures and policies, debugging, support, and much more,” says Hawkey.

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OfferZen’s list of the best paying programming languages in South Africa include Go, Kotlin, and Ruby.

Relevant skills

Hawkey says one of the biggest disconnects between education and the workplace is a lag between what skills are taught and what skills are needed.

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“Graduates who have chosen software development emerge from universities and find that coding languages and best practises have evolved.

“This partly contributes to the gap between jobs needing to be filled, and people able to fill them - a lack of experience and no time to teach new skills.”

Mental fortitude

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In the rapidly evolving workplace and world, there is no place for being stagnant.

Hawkey says a successful software developer in the fourth industrial revolution is hungry to learn and push boundaries.

“Start today by cultivating a positive mindset and a hunger to learn from those with more experience. Never stop learning and become comfortable being uncomfortable, as that’s how we grow as people and professionals,” she adds.

OfferZen says 92% of developers in South Africa now have the option to work from home, with fewer number of these professionals looking to move abroad this year than in 2021.

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