How to Stand Out as a Software Engineer in Africa

Become a software engineer in Africa's booming tech scene (716k devs and growing)! Master in-demand skills, build a portfolio, and network with top communities.

Yat Badal
May 22, 2023
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The African tech sector is experiencing a surge, in a growing demand for skilled software engineers. According to Google's Africa Developer Ecosystem Report 2021, Africa's developer population reached a record high of 716,000 in 2021, with a 3.8% increase from the previous year. This rapid growth signifies a thriving tech landscape brimming with opportunities for talented software engineers.

However, standing out in this competitive environment requires a strategic approach. Here are some key strategies to help you shine in the African software engineering job market:

Develop expertise in a software engineering field

By specializing in a particular branch of software engineering, such as web development, data science, machine learning, or mobile app development, you can set yourself apart from the competition and increase your chances of getting software engineering jobs in Africa. Increasing your expertise in a particular field will increase your demand as a professional. For example, becoming a developer focused on mobile app development or a full-stack developer. A full-stack developer does it all. These versatile professionals have extensive training in both front-end and back-end programming and can shift effortlessly between the two disciplines. Becoming a full stack developer helps you stand out in the competitive job market, as they are in high demand due to the difficulty and lack of people who specialize in full stack development.

Build a strong software engineer portfolio

Building a developer portfolio is crucial because it demonstrates your abilities and experience, not to mention the worth and caliber of the work you are producing. The first thing recruiters will do when you apply for a new job is to look at your portfolio. And if you want to stand out from the competition and catch the attention of potential employers, your portfolio must be as strong as possible. A well-crafted portfolio shows potential employers what skills they should expect from their new hire and how those skills relate to real-world projects; these can be implemented onto live systems for them to see exactly how valuable their employees would be once hired on a full-time basis. If professional experience is limited for individuals, such as junior developers, a portfolio will help fill the gap. 

Participate in coding competitions for software engineers

By taking part in these coding competitions, people have the chance to compare their abilities to those of their peers and to pick up new knowledge. In coding competitions like the Entelect challenge and ICPC Online Challenge, you’ll compete against people around the globe and have a platform to demonstrate your skills and knowledge of algorithms, data structures, logical reasoning, and more. One of the critical aspects of becoming a good coder is having strong fundamentals. Given the nature of a coding competition, it becomes an excellent platform to practice and master the fundamentals. Moreover, competitions give coders who are exceptionally talented, regardless of age and experience, the platform to showcase their skills and get noticed by top companies. Coding contests are a great place to show off your technical skills and share knowledge relevant to the position you've applied for or are considering. Additionally, participating in coding competitions enables you to network with other gifted programmers. At coding competitions, working in teams enables you to gain some work experience and teaches you how to communicate with other top coders. Additionally, in coding challenges like Codegoda, you must solve problems in a set amount of time (in this case, 5 hours). You'll become more efficient and disciplined as a result of this restriction, two traits necessary for improving your coding skills. Given the time limit, you'll also view problems differently, introducing you to fresh perspectives and methods of problem-solving.

Contribute to the software engineering community

Contributing to community channels, forums, classes, and platforms is very important in trying to stand out in the competitive world of software engineering. Joining a software engineering community offers you the opportunity to ask questions, whether you're a novice, have some expertise, or are a fully-fledged coder. This community of like-minded programmers will help you stand out and improve your chances of landing software engineering jobs in Africa. They are eager to help, offer advice, and share different perspectives on how to solve common and complex problems. Software engineering communities share tips, critiques, and insights into current trends in the world of software development. The software engineering communities provide a network of assistance. Software engineering may be intimidating and frustrating, particularly if you work alone. You can maintain your motivation and focus through sharing and collaboration with others who are part of the community.


Remember, showcasing your passion for software engineering beyond just technical skills is key. Get involved in open-source projects tackling Africa's challenges! Network with local communities and highlight success stories of African software engineers who inspire you. By combining technical expertise with continuous learning, networking, and showcasing your work, you'll significantly increase your chances of landing your dream software engineering job in Africa. At, we are committed to delivering exceptional software solutions that empower your business to thrive. We leverage our vast talent pool of highly qualified developers across Africa to bring your vision to life.‍ Contact us today for a free consultation!

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