LebGeeks

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#1 September 18 2016

mmk92
Member

Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

Hello all,

Development jobs here in Lebanon pay extremely low. This is very well known by many, and constantly being discussed on this forum.

Average salaries here are very low, they range from 1000$-1500$, and usually with a very slow linear growth over time.

Many companies have taken advantage of this situation and outsourced their development to Lebanon. This is evident because if you look at the vast majority of companies, their Lebanese offices would be only for development and they'd have offices in their home countries for marketing their products.

Since there's barely any room to grow and the pay is so low, even the most passionate developers end up dreading their jobs.


Why do you guys think is the reason behind this?
Is there something we could do as a community?

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#2 September 18 2016

rolf
Member

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

Hi,

In my experience as a web developer, salaries that I was offered also tended to be low. Keep in mind that it depends on the company and on your experience, so you can get more fortunate in Lebanon.

Yet despite my agreement, I do not condone saying things such as "in Lebanon, this that".

If anyone knows the reason, I'd like to hear about it. I can think about low standards, small market, so skills are not always appreciated or even needed, maybe.

As to what to do about that, going freelance can avoid you some of these downsides (in exchange for other downsides). So maybe freelancers can do something together, help each other.

Last edited by rolf (September 18 2016)

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#3 September 18 2016

mmk92
Member

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

I do full stack, I get paid above average but it's still very low as compared to the global average.

Yes, free lancing pays well on your own terms, I do it every bit and then but it's not a very stable source of income.

Also "experience" is bs. Companies asses applicants based on years since graduation rather than their actual technical expertise. Also career growth depends on years since graduation as well rather than contribution and performance. 

This is a trend in most if not all companies, and this is for a very good reason, it's for their best interest to pay us so low and there's no reason for them to do otherwise.

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#4 February 8 2017

ewj
Member

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

Hey, I'm on the other side of the fence (I hire...) so I might shed some light on why most of the offers made start with a "low" salary.

Most of the time, the candidates showing up have either lied on their CVs (stating skills they don't have) or overestimated their level. They also lack the understanding of what their role is in an organization (they mostly know how to write code but don't care whom will get their code and what will be done with it...)

Starting with a lower salary is the occasion to test the full ability of a candidate and see how fast he/she can adapt. It's also a way to get rid of too money oriented people (the ones who jump every 6 months from a job to the other in the hope of getting a 100 USD / month raise...

Good candidates usually get raised quite quickly and seeing salaries of 2K+ is not uncommon for qualified people.

If you are good (not only at home but also at your job) and you have asked for a raise that have been refused (don't forget to ask for it), you are either not as good as you think you are (take feedback from your employer) or you are in the wrong company... 

PS: Another thing is that recruiters are very well aware of the fact that some students 'buy' their degree by asking other uni. students to do their homework for them and this is a too frequent practice in Lebanon.

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#5 February 23 2017

vlatkozelka
Member

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

ewj wrote:

PS: Another thing is that recruiters are very well aware of the fact that some students 'buy' their degree by asking other uni. students to do their homework for them and this is a too frequent practice in Lebanon.

Hey that's how I payed my tuition fees, thanks to those who couldn't make their projects

Although what you are saying is mostly true, the majority of software development companies now have an "entrance exam" whichever form that might take. Some even go as far as making you right horrific syntax  (SOAP and WSDL for example ). So getting stuck with the wrong person is nothing but your own fault, really. I know people in high up positions who couldn't write a proper SQL query for the life of them :S

What employers seem to forget is that we pay a lot to get our degree. At a salary of 800$ per say it would take the same amount of time you did to graduate just to payback and "break even" (although after 5 years you're most likely to get a promotion but still...). Some people start as low as 600$.

Please note that I am not complaining for the sake of it. I have a great job at one of the best companies in Lebanon *. But still it feels like a software developer isn't compensated well enough for his hard work. Why would a lawyer,doctor, etc... make more while we, developers, are in my opinion along the most productive and influential ?



*really good as in we review code periodically, we follow best practices, we make reusable libraries.. and we have our own framework to develop with that we can all contribute to.

Last edited by vlatkozelka (February 23 2017)

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#6 February 23 2017

rolf
Member

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

ewj wrote:

Hey, I'm on the other side of the fence (I hire...) so I might shed some light on why most of the offers made start with a "low" salary.

Most of the time, the candidates showing up have either lied on their CVs (stating skills they don't have) or overestimated their level. They also lack the understanding of what their role is in an organization (they mostly know how to write code but don't care whom will get their code and what will be done with it...)

Starting with a lower salary is the occasion to test the full ability of a candidate and see how fast he/she can adapt. It's also a way to get rid of too money oriented people (the ones who jump every 6 months from a job to the other in the hope of getting a 100 USD / month raise...

Another reason why candidates start with a low salary, is that companies try to exploit them.
You may be entering the agreement with a "partnership mindset" (finding a long-term job where you are satisfied and needed). But some companies follow the "transaction mindset" - try to fill whatever gap they have with the "best deal they can get". They do not want skilled workers to be a core part of the company. They want cheap, replaceable (and desperate) labour. Having a skilled person does not fit them, because skill is hard to find therefore hard to replace. For such companies, you will get low salary offers, and to survive your probation, you must keep a low profile and not try to impress. Unfortunately, it seems that such places are not exactly a rare thing.

I took part in hiring once. There was one guy who lied on his CV - basically wrote a bunch of things he had no ideas about, to get an unfair advantage. He was not hired.

Some companies might go after people who lie on their CV, and offer them lower salaries, because, as explained previously, it is disposable, cheap, low quality labour they can take advantage of.

Last edited by rolf (February 23 2017)

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#7 February 24 2017

rtwo2008
Member

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

Trying to predict the worst arguments of hiring managers (public knowledge for most people):

1- More supply than demand, so can offer less and they will still come.
2- Majority are probably incompetent, so budgeted at least 2 replacements before getting the right one.
3- The ghost of working in Khaleej always looming about, so no point paying more if they are going to leave anyway (can never match khaleej salaries).
4- Have to consider the training costs of the new employee after the old one leaves.
5- Small market, the products they make won't get ridiculously high returns.
6- "Family Business" Management breathing down my neck to keep costs low (they don't care how).
7- The constant risk of the region blowing up, have to keep a budget for emergencies and employee salaries with little sales when that happens.
8- To make up for the bloated salaries of the owner's family members or relatives.

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#8 February 26 2017

vlatkozelka
Member

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

Btw I love how employers get disgusted from "money oriented people" . As if an employee needs to work "3an 7ob l zahra2" lol

Give your employee enough and he will give you back with all he has. If you think people lie on their CVs, do a proper interview !!
I can't beleive how many interviews went like:
-Do you know SQL ? yes
-Do you know HTML, CSS? yes
-Ok we gonna try you for a week then we see if we can hire you, you ok with that ? yes

And I can't believe how many times I had this senior that knows NOTHING !

The only interview I felt was a proper one was the last one, I was asked about software design, and when you should think about using a certain thing like inheritance, best practices... Then I was asked to optimize algorithms.
You want good employees? Do an interview like this and filter out the good from the bad.

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#9 March 6 2017

ewj
Member

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

vlatkozelka wrote:

Btw I love how employers get disgusted from "money oriented people" . As if an employee needs to work "3an 7ob l zahra2" lol

Give your employee enough and he will give you back with all he has. If you think people lie on their CVs, do a proper interview !!

Indeed there is nothing wrong in being "money oriented" especially when negotiating your salary, but I'm referring to "too money oriented people" because too much of something is always a deal breaker... What I refer to are the type of people who don't care about the job description, all they want is to cream the best deal out of their interviews in the hopes to cash out as much as they can to better prepare for their next hunt...

I personally faced this situation with a candidate who didn't even wanted to be enrolled in NSSF and get the money in cash instead... (turned out he wanted to put as much money as he could aside to plan for a trip and leave the country) He had the right skill set but not the right mindset... this guy didn't get the job.

I'm not saying that all companies are equally fair to candidates and I know that some recruiters are crossing borders, but on the other side, some candidates are plain dishonest with their intentions and this creates a climate of distrust...

As for the interview/test as you said most companies are doing this but this does NOT guarantee success... at best it guarantees you are not hiring the worst person available.

Finally, your example of a candidate who would start at 800 USD and stay at that level for 5 years.... ? I mean seriously ? If someone starts at this level it's probably because there are too many unknowns around him/her and if the candidate is doing a good job he/she should be raised after 3 to 6 months...

Anyways, I'm just trying to explain that this issue (like any human related issue) does NOT come from one side. Many of the points mentioned about the recruiters' side is correct but usually good elements don't stay long in the wrong company, they naturally get poached by the good companies who will end up treating them well on all levels (financial too).

Don't forget that good developers are scarce worldwide and Lebanon is no exception (loads of below average SE/developers in here which the market adapted to with loads of below average SE/development jobs ;-)

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#10 March 6 2017

user
Member

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

It has not really been my experience in Lebanon honestly. I have been making above 1500$ after I hit 2 years work experience as a backend developer(not full stack) and I have friends who are mobile devs making above 2k (at least it is what they claim) with 2-3 years work experience. And generally where I work and where my friends work companies are always on the lookout for good developers but can't find any...

For people having trouble with interviews(as interviewers), just ask to see previous works and have them explained to you... I keep wondering why not more companies ask that. I actually had a company send me a job offer after one 5 minutes interview, it was so absurd that it made me wary of taking it. Hiring people to test them is not ideal, as a candidate, I would like to know for a fact I belong in the position advertised before I turn down /cancel my interviews in other companies, rather than cancel everything else, get hired then fired a month later because of some unadvertised expectation/misunderstanding. (though it has not happened yet, I keep repeating to people interviewing me not to expect anything from me front end wise, I speak of my faults more often than the good stuff)

Last edited by user (March 6 2017)

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#11 March 7 2017

samer
Administrator

Re: Low Average Software Engineering/Development Jobs

My approach to hiring people is to give them a small project to do (usually something that takes 3-4 hours to complete) and pay them for their time. This of course happens after some basic screening and making sure they can solve fizzbuzz . Incidentally, the LebGeeks entrance exam is a variant of fizzbuzz. No, I am not currently hiring.

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