How to Land your Dream Software Developer Job

In our digital world, there are many more openings for software developer jobs. This Scrums.com guide teaches you step-by-step how to become a software developer in Africa.

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Before starting the journey, what makes a good software developer?

Before investing your time, money and effort into learning coding or software engineering, there are a few tell-tale traits that somebody will make a good software developer. It’s not for everybody, so if any of these resonate with you, this is definitely a career you should look into.

A positive outlook, with good task and time management skills

Programmers and software developers should always be highly ambitious. They should be eager to learn and do their best in any given task. If their best isn’t good enough, they should take feedback and criticism well. Programmers generally work according to strict deadlines and time pressure too, so need to be good with time.

Technical understanding and experience

Software developers need to have a broad understanding of coding languages and tech stacks, as well as best practices. These can include the necessary skills, tools and environments needed to code.

A quick learner

Learning software engineering can take years of experience and studying. It has moments of frustration. However, being a quick learner, and being able to absorb and apply vast amounts of information is a key skill to becoming a good software developer.

The ability to think and code according to many use-cases, as well as find mistakes and bugs in one’s own or someone else’s code, requires a strong attention to detail. This will allow for a much easier development process.

A team player with good communication skills

Despite popular culture depictions of ‘lone-wolf’ coders, software developers that are team players are much more likely to be successful. This is because as a software engineer, the aim is to solve issues and create a great product. This means communicating with all sorts of people: fellow developers, quality assurance, sales, customers and so forth.

A focus not just on the task, but end-user

Software developers need to go above and beyond the brief, to deliver solution-oriented, high value solutions. These should solve problems, create high value, and remove features that don’t create value.

An interest in software programmes, technology or computer science is a fantastic place to start. Without an interest in how these essential tools work and operate, it would be almost impossible to learn software development. Think of a sport you have absolutely no interest in – you wouldn’t want to play it if you had no interest in it to begin with. The exact same goes for software developer jobs.

So, what if you have the curiosity to pursue a career in the field of software solutions? Where are good resources to gain a basic understanding of what software developer jobs will entail?

Where do you start?
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The internet has become an incredibly powerful tool to help people further their understanding of many fields. Beyond memes, social media platforms and other fickle areas of the web, there are some great self-help guides, and even some sites that can fully teach someone to code!

Of course, learning from free online sites will only get you so far in your software developer journey, but it is a great place to arm yourself with information, and discern whether the field is a good fit for you and your skillset or not. There are many informative YouTube videos, like this video from Traversy Media detailing How to Become a Self-Taught Software Developer.

If not online through the internet, you could always resort to old-school, and get yourself some software developer books. Reading is another powerful tool to arm yourself with knowledge. Whether it’s a book about the skillset and mindset needed to be a software developer, or books educating the reader about different tech stacks and coding languages, there are thousands of books covering many aspects of computer science. Some may be a little outdated, as books were the resource that taught the first programmers to programme back in the 1900’s.

10 Best Programming and Coding Books for Beginners and Experienced Software Developers

Once you feel you’ve done sufficient reading up online or through the books we listed; if software development is something you decide you’d like to pursue as a career, congratulations! Software developer jobs are tough and take many years’ experience and learning to master, but they are some of the most rewarding jobs around. So, being eager and informed is a great first step. The next step that we would recommend, would be to try and obtain some sort of formal education in software development or computer sciences. We’ve compiled some of the best universities to study software development in Africa below.

University of Sfax

The University of Sfax in Tunisia offers a fantastic course for prospective software programmers, called the Bachelor of Computer Science. It is a full time, 3-year Bachelor’s degree. With a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering, postgraduate specialists can pursue careers as computer hardware engineers or software engineers, including systems analysts. Computer manufacturing companies, software companies, and computer service centres employ people with this degree.

University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria offer the BEng Computer Engineering degree. This is a full-time degree and is internationally recognised, and completion of the degree opens up many doors to careers in computer systems, software engineering, computer and communications networks, wireless sensor networks, embedded software, electronics, smart control systems and automation, data security, e-commerce, pattern recognition (face and speech recognition), and artificial intelligence.

University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town has an entire Computer Science Department, offering a range of beginner (first year) to advanced. They offer a variety of courses in: Introduction to programming, calculus, databases and data structure, software development and engineering, computer science etc.

University of Stellenbosch

The University of Stellenbosch Computer Science Department that was founded all the way back in 1972, making them one of the best places to study software development in South Africa. They offer a host of degrees including the BSc Computer Science. However, they also now offer a very exciting and practical Software Engineer Online Bootcamp. We will cover online software engineering studies options later on, but this course is fantastic for people who want to Get acquainted with machine learning, implement popular computer science algorithms, build applications as a software engineer and Learn about Object-Oriented Programming and agile development. The course mainly focuses in Python, SQL, Object Oriented Programming etc.

Mohammed V University

The Mohammed V University in Morocco offers a 3-year double diploma. The training, led by national and international faculty and professionals, prepares students for intellectual and technical implementation and management of computer projects. It is internationally recognised, and offers opportunities such as: Software architect, developer, multimedia software design, responsible security information systems, specialists in internet and multimedia technologies, etc.

National University of Science and Technology

The National University of Science and Technology based in Zimbabwe offers a course in Software Engineering in IT. This course covers the principles of modern software engineering, including requirements analysis, development and maintenance of software products and supporting documents, software lifecycle, and various development models.

Cairo University

Cairo University in Egypt offers a 3-year Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. Computer engineering specialists with a Bachelor's degree have a wide range of career options, including computer hardware engineers, software engineers, and computer systems analysts.

If acquiring a formal degree, diploma or education is not an option, fear not; as there are some fantastic online courses through which one can study to land software developer jobs. Life is busy, and if you have responsibilities, or perhaps work a different job and would like to learn to code in your spare time, an online course is a fantastic route to take. It also offers the benefit of not having to commit 3 years of your time and finances to a degree. So, let’s jump into some of the best online courses to take in order to learn computer sciences.

School of IT

Based online and geared towards South Africans, School of It is the leading global training provider in South Africa for Programming Training. Coding requires practice, that’s why School of IT is great because it offers practical based learning. This means you actually build examples and projects. They offer an introductory programming course which offers the option to get internationally accredited in less than 1 month.

Thinkful

Thinkful offer a comprehensive 5-month online software engineering bootcamp. It is one of the most beginner-friendly courses to take. Starting with HTML and CSS basics and implementing JavaScript to solve problems, the course starts with the basics. In addition, you'll master REST software architecture, solve problems with data structures and algorithms, and manage web development projects using Agile practices. You'll also learn how to build your professional network and improve your interview skills in the career module, which we will go into detail later in the article about too.

Flatiron

The Flatiron School was founded in 2012, and offers full-time and part-time courses, which is a perfect modular dynamic to learn at your own pace. The payment structure is quite flexible, and their courses cover both back-end and front-end programming. The main technologies Flatiron School teach include HTML, CSS, SQL, Ruby, and JavaScript. However, the biggest bonus of their courses is that you get access to a dedicated career coach, who helps you through interview best practices and helps you find software developer jobs. They have relationships with recruiters and managers at some of the biggest tech companies in the world, which can help you get employed.

Fullstack Academy

The Fullstack Academy offer a fantastic Live Online Coding Bootcamp. According to the academy, within 17-28 weeks, you’ll gain the skills and experience you need to get hired as a web developer. The courses feature an easy-to-navigate interface, and are led by instructors who have experience in the industry. They offer career coaching services, in-depth projects, and more, you can experience an immersive virtual classroom setting.

App Academy

The App Academy offers a 24 Week Software Engineering Immersive course. A massive selling point of this programme – is that you pay nothing until you land your first software developer job! What a steal, right? The course will provide you with countless hours of experience in JavaScript and Python, two of the most in-demand programming languages. Once you land a software developer job; which most App Academy students do within 6 months, you pay 15% of your salary to them for just 3 years, to a capped amount.

Tech stacks, or otherwise known as a coding language, are fundamental to a software developer. Getting software develop jobs without thorough knowledge of at least one stack, would be like trying to write poetry in a foreign language. We’ve compiled a list of the 8 most popular and upcoming tech stacks; both front and back end, for 2023.

Hypertext Markup Language - HTML

HTML has been around since the 90s, and is the standard markup language for creating Web pages. HTML is fairly easy to learn and grasp, and in no time, you’ll be able to create your own webpages. This makes HTML a great place to start.


Cascading Style Sheets - CSS

Using CSS, developers can separate presentation from content. A CSS style sheet can establish the visual layout of a Web page, while HTML can establish its content. It can be said that CSS is fairly easy to learn, but mastering it is a bit of a task. While making a simple website can be learned quickly, becoming fluent in CSS usually takes much longer.


JavaScript

In addition to HTML and CSS, Javascript is the best programming language to learn for front-end web development. A staggering 97.8% of all websites on the internet use JavaScript for their client-side scripting, making it the most popular language for the cause. It’s an easy language to learn, and offers great features like being an excellent language for developing web apps because of its intuitive design. It can also better a webpage’s interactivity. by enabling web developers to add dynamic elements on their landing pages, such as interactive elements and animated graphics.


MEAN (and variants)

MEAN is a popular and practical stack. It has many similar offshoots, such as MERN and MEVN, but at it’s core, MEAN comprises of: MongoDB (NoSQL database), Express.js backend web framework, Angular.js frontend framework and Node.js server-side JavaScript. It’s pretty good for all types of websites and interactive applications, and helps build scalable software solutions.


Python

Python is an up-and-coming, high level but very versatile programming language. It can be used in many applications, such as web development, automation, prototyping to data analysis. It is popular amongst developers as it utilises different programming paradigms, it works well as a scripting language, and it’s open source – meaning it can be modified as necessary. What’s more – it's easier than any other language to learn, thanks to its syntax familiarity with English. Python is a fantastic starting point for beginners, and it opens the doors to many in-demand careers such as being a data scientist, a software engineer, and an AI researcher.


C#

C# is another multi-purpose, popular tech stack. It can be used to create a variety of applications and programs including anything from enterprise software, cloud-based services and websites, to games, mobile and desktop apps. It’s much simpler to learn than its predecessors (C and C++), due to its’ simple syntax and clear class hierarchy. It is very popular for gaming developers, and even more popular for web development companies, as they are constantly seeking people with C# competency.


.NET

.NET is a software development framework created by Microsoft for building a variety of applications such as web, desktop, mobile, gaming, and IoT. It supports multiple programming languages and provides a common set of tools and libraries for a simplified development process. .NET integrates with other Microsoft technologies and focuses on high-quality, reliable, and secure application building.


LAMP

Lastly but not least, LAMP is one of the industry standard tech stacks. It is so popular, because it can provide some of the best cost efficiency, flexibility, and performance. LAMP is actually an acronym of its’ various components, being: Linux OS, Apache HTTP server, MySQL relational database management and PHP, with the programming language also being interchangeable with Perl or Python. These stacks are free, open source and compatible with many operating systems.


After learning hitting the books, studying or getting qualified and confident in your chosen area of software development, continue practicing and mastering your coding languages and tech stacks.


As much as it’s great to be highly skilled in one stack, having knowledge of many and being versatile is important for getting a software developer job.

Key tips and advice

The next important step, is networking. Spark conversations with likeminded people about software development, download LinkedIn and do some outreach, whatever it takes. Just make sure you’re enriching your circle with opportunities and fellow developers who can help you along your journey. Many jobs can be found on LinkedIn, always try staying open-minded, as opportunity can come knocking in the strangest places.

Next, is to create a professional CV. Document all your abilities, qualifications, coding languages and some interesting things about you that could make you seem like a good addition to a software development job. Along with this, try to gain some portfolio experience – never turn down jobs in the beginning, no matter how big or small they are. Try gain whatever experience you can initially, and build up your skills, confidence and repertoire. Doing so will eventually pay off and land you that dream software developer job, but you have to start somewhere. Build sites for friends, or even create hypothetical projects if you can.

Related to this, experiment a lot in the beginning, try things out. Different companies, different stacks. Eventually, you’ll find a niche that you’re highly skilled and interested in, and enjoy working in. Once you feel you’ve found your niche, it’s time to begin the hunt. You can try use your network you should have built up, or you can apply via the various sites listed below, to find software developer jobs in Africa.

If you do not have any contacts already within the field, or perhaps a friend at a company you’d like to get a software developer job at, you can try this comprehensive list of online sites to apply on. These sites are constantly updated, as software engineering is a very in-demand job.

Get your dream software developer job

Scrums.com - Connecting African tech talent with the right opportunities.

LinkedIn - The world's largest professional network on the internet.

Indeed - The #1 job site in the world with over 300M unique visitors every month.

PNet - South Africa's number 1 job site. Search for jobs across South Africa.

Careers24 - A leading South African job portal that assists jobseekers from all sectors.

Glassdoor - Search millions of jobs and get the inside scoop on companies.

Top 10 African companies hiring right now
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If you do not have any contacts already within the field, or perhaps a friend at a company you’d like to get a software developer job at, you can try this comprehensive list of online sites to apply on. These sites are constantly updated, as software engineering is a very in-demand job.

Have a look at the top places hiring software developers:

Scrums.com - Connecting African tech talent with the right opportunities.

SovTech - Helping businesses scale with world-class software.

FNB - FNB is the oldest and one of the biggest banks in South Africa.

Amazon - Apply for the Amazon Software Developer Internship.

Takealot - Takealot.com is a South African e-commerce company based in Cape Town.

LexisNexis -  global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions

PeopleSolved - The "go-to" strategic talent partner for growing businesses.

Derivco - Developers of technology for the online gaming world.

DigiBlu - Specialists in implementing RPA and Intelligent Automation.

Black Pen - A global recruitment agency that targets Europe, Africa and America.


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Software developer jobs at Scrums.com

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The Connector is our expert, AI platform that connects remote developers, tech leads, and others to jobs and opportunities across the globe.

You can get started by navigating through our onboarding and filling in as much information as you can. We want to get to know you ! 

Our team will then review your application and get back to you in no time!

How much does it cost to join The Connector?
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Nothing! It's completely free to be a part of The Connector.

All you need to do is to sign up through our platform. We will review your profile and ensure that your skills are a good fit for the demands of our clients. we will find you the best opportunities that suit what you are looking for. You will work with a Talent Specialist to build the best profile, prepare you for interviews and help you through the client engagement process.

We reject candidates for various reasons, our main priority is to provide our candidates with value. We don't want you to join connector and not have opportunities. We will accept and reject candidates based on the skills, experience and demand of the market at the time and based on our predictions of the market.

Scrums.com clients can hire technical talent in many ways and we are flexible in our engagements with clients. Though the most popular are full-time, long-term (12 months+) fixed-term contracts.

Scrums.com provides a software development platform that helps your engineering grow your business faster. Scrums.com is powered by SovTech.

SovTech is an award-winning, end-to-end custom software development company that designs, builds, deploys and maintains mobile and web applications.

We have a global presence with offices in London, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Kenya.

The Connector is a specialised developer job platform, designed to help you choose your next, best job opportunity.

Absolutely!

We want to put you forward to as many opportunities as we can. This may mean you will be in several interview processes and multiple clients all at once. We will ensure that interview fit in with your schedule as best we can and our Talent Specialists will be with you every step to help and guide you.

You can navigate to the settings on your profile and delete your account. This will remove your data from our systems. Alternatively, you can contact us and we will perform the deletion on your behalf.

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