On programming

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st0nes (June 22, 2011, 15:32:03 PM):
The salary that banks are paying their average Joe is higher than our Joe's ;) Start-up companies with little VC funding struggle to afford even an entry-level developer. I try nab them straight out of varsity before they realise what they can earn elsewhere ;)

Therefore I do the practical thing by hiring developers from India, for $50 they will do what a local developer would charge R40000. It makes no business sense to hire local, in my space obviously, banking systems are a different beast altogether. There is the language barrier issue but I get around it by giving detailed specifications not wishy washy requirements, the kind of specifications a junior developer needs. The quality of the work I have received so far is excellent and I pay them with PAYPAL having never met them in person.

Have you used GetACoder? You put your specs up and let the developers bid for the job. It's a sort of reverse auction.
benguela (June 22, 2011, 15:36:52 PM):
yup, I started on getafreelancer.com

I recently contracted one from the USA, he was a very senior developer who built a sexy javascript web interface cheaper than a local junior developer (wtf!!)

Surely our local industry is not sustainable, they're getting well paid for crap quality, and yet the salaries keep going up. Makes no sense to me.


st0nes (June 22, 2011, 15:42:41 PM):
I think it's a failure of management. Local managers want to run the department 'the way it's always been done.' They aren't aware of such things as agile methodology and so on; they want to be able to see their underlings and do a bit of empire building rather than focus on results. That oke you hired from the states probably spent an hour or two on your project, but a local oke would spend three hours on it plus six hours on facebook, an hour or two on slashdot, running up your phone bill talking to his bokkie in Hawaii, and then you have to pay him a full month's salary.
BoogieMonster (June 22, 2011, 16:45:14 PM):
I actually made a solemn oath to myself a long time ago to NEVER work for a bank. I have personal preferences about official working hours and firewall rules. I don't want them.

Lately I think for the right money and correct stipulations, I might consider, but it'd take persuasion.

Telling me the "industry standard wage" is a bit of wasted effort, I'm a developer after all. Was more of a joke but heck it stimulated conversation. :D

Quote from: benguela
.... they're getting well paid for crap quality, and yet the salaries keep going up. Makes no sense to me.

The problem is that the quality is so low. This means that GOOD developers are like hens teeth. People want good developers, so good developers can name their price. This has the side effect of skewing the expectations of non-good developers, graduates, managers, HR, etc.

Also, picking the good apples from the bad is a difficult exercise. It's easy to hire a dud at a pro salary. The cycle continues.

I'm worried by lack of talent locally. YES I make very nice money because of that lack thank-you-very-much, but it's also bad for the industry. Dev shops struggle to find and keep talent, which means the software industry's growth is being constrained. One of the problems I foresee about doing a startup myself is ... where will I find talent if I'm successful? I mean I can go out and create valuable jobs but I'm SOL if I can't manage to FILL those jobs.

What we really need is a healthy software industry in SA. I mean, as I head for "the top", the places I can find at, that pay what I want and does that kind of higher-tier thing dwindles. Also, you can only job-hop (I've changed jobs twice in about 8 years, this is low for my ilk) so many times before you've run out of options. (one of my hops was back to a prev employer, so at least if you're good they'll take you back).

IMHO: You cannot in this country make a bad name for yourself as a dev, It's just not an option. You can hardly throw a stone without running into a developer you've met before when you were both working at different places, or at a braai, etc. It's SUCH a small group of people. But then that has also swung my way by being head-hunted by people I'd worked with before, etc. (didn't take the bait, fwiw).

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