“So, let me start this off by asking the most important question in history…how much does an African software developer actually make?”
On the left side of my Zoom screen, a bespectacled Mark Akampurira – a full stack software developer of four years – sits against the backdrop of white walls. He first smiles brightly and then laughs. “Do you mean working for Tunga or in general,” the 26-year-old replies, sounding amused as he leans forward in his seat. “Both,” I reply and again he laughs. “Well, it depends, but I would use Ugandan standards. I’d say about 1000USD to 1500USD per month.” “That sounds encouraging,” I quickly chip in, to which he laughs and nods his head in agreement.
Developing software to create impact
As a kid, Mark was more interested in learning about aeronautics engineering. After finishing high school, however, he developed an interest in software development. He felt this presented more opportunities to impact the everyday lives of those around him. He hooked up with people who knew about programming and discovered that he loved it. In 2015, he enrolled in university to study Software Engineering. Two years later, one of his professors – impressed with some of the stuff Mark had already created – linked him to a professional project that he was working on. So, whilst still at uni, he already began making money off software development projects – although Mark is quick to clarify that it was more like a paid internship than anything else. Nevertheless, he was excited to put his mathematical knowledge to practical use.