Trends in the Pakistan Software Industry

May 8, 2008 3:29 pm 13 comments

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Ahmed Siddiqui writes about some of the trends he’s witnessed in the software industry regarding HR. Here’s what he had to say:

  • In most of the organizations the hierarchy is:
    • CTO/Dept. Head >> PM >>TL >> SSE >> SE
  • Most of the Resource Managers (Team Leads) are planning to become Project Manager
  • Senior technical positions like Architect, are not available for technical people
  • Senior Software Developers are planning to become Team Leads to get raise in benefits instead of focusing on scarce senior technical positions
  • Most of the resources have working experience of small-size offshore projects, they don’t have the experience and expertise of Enterprise Solutions
  • Most of the fresh graduates prefer better salary on career growth & learning
  • After initial 2 years, having some quick job-switches, some of them realize that if they could learn, they could earn more. Then they change their mind to prefer learning over adhoc monitory benefits
  • It’s becoming general perception among software industry that to become a project manager is the shortest path to get fat salaries
  • Computer Science Graduates are preferring to get admission in MBA instead of MS
  • In MS(Computer Science), Project Management is becoming a buzzword
  • It seems that in few years, we will have greater number of Managers and lesser number of technical resources, at least in software development

Agree or disagree? Let us know!

Facebook comments:


  • O yes, quite right… I am working as a team lead after roughly 6 months of industry experience in software dev. and looking for MBA now… thinking of starting it this summer.

    But, I think that is the right move after Team lead as I think that path helps in managing teams effectively and climbing the promotion ladder in hierarchy.

    Mansoor, you are quite right that most people have off shore project experience more because more work related to web dev. has become the part of life there, not in Pakistan. Think about this that how many companies in Pakistan are doing business via there websites. Mean while i have seen companies in Canada( doing their soul business via their website and google Adwords.

    But the trend is changing with competition between different DSL companies, internet trend is growing. :)

  • Mostly true, but many old software firm (Systems Ltd. for example) do have Architect level positions, and some firms have more than 7-8 levels of heirarchy.

    On the last point, I think that the educational institutes are churning out CS grads in greater numbers than ever before, and the people who qualify for managerial positions are mostly sitting (or plan to be sitting) outside of Pakistan.

    So IMHO, the ratio of available manager monkeys to available code monkeys has not changed/will not change significantly – though the gap in experience between these two species will probably widen as “good” people still prefer to emigrate after a few years of experience.

  • Great post Mansoor and most of the trends you mentioned are very true. We at Zigron have tried our best to change few of these trends but its not always that easy.

    - We are addressing few of these issues by having an absolute flat structure. Within Zigron titles dont matter rather what your role is and that is up for grabs for anyone.

    - We are trying to create an environment where every role has its own growth path plus better salaries. We are discouraging our team to not only think about being a Manager. For us “Management” is just a task.

    - We are pushing hard to create Architects role and one such position is in play but again it takes time for all of us to realize the importance of such role.

    Overall I think young resources who are not aware of Pak IT Industry are more adaptable to such new approaches thats why I think we as an industry need to reach out more to students and explain to them that you can have a big pay day even if you work in QA if thats what your passion is.

  • aa

    Designers are missing from most of the companies, if you think designers are redundant compare Apple with Microsoft.

  • @aa
    You are right generally designers are not properly appreciated but I think its slowly changing.. you can look at firms like CDF software and us where User Experience is a very major core…

  • Let me add few things… people are preferring MBA over CS because for our industry it doesn’t matter you have done some good research … but ‘oh! an MBA can manager technological better?’ (wow) ..

    Industry should identify their problem in order to motivate people to find the solutions of those problems by doing research in our local universities instead depending on others!

    Surprisingly, most of the companies having very few posts of senior technical level like Architecture, whether I believe there should be one post associates with each project like PMs.

  • @previous post

    ‘oh! an MBA can manage technological people better?’ (wow) ..

  • most of the graduates prefer fat salaries over actual learning. The problem is with the schools and people that influence them. They keep telling them (dictating them) to do THIS, because this ‘ll get ‘em THAT.

    They hardly listen to what they are really passionate about.That’s why after 2-3 years they start realizing they’re stuck in the wrong places.

    Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
    Steeve Jobs

    Increased collaboration between the schools and industry players is required for sharing knowledge which would help fresh graduate to think about the big picture.

  • thanks for the input everyone. just a clarification, i did not write this article, just reposted it. it was originally written by Ahmed Siddiqi.

    my next post is going to be on middle tier people, the ones who manage various aspects of development lifecycle rather than doing them.

    these people form a necessary part of the organizational structure which is looking to expand beyond the 25 person glass ceiling most software companies seem to be hitting here.

  • Asher Fawad

    In Pakistan the sooner people realize this, the better it is. Those who are software engineers they should rather focus on building their coding skills. Learn different tools used in the industry, Learn different programming languages but should have deep understanding for one. Here in US, the software developers command very high salary. It is because it is easier to learn soft skills (project management etc) than technical skills. People with technical skills never go out of jobs. Software developers even with just BS can command salaries from $60,000 – 120,000. After 5-10 years of experience, you can be an Architect or Sales engineer and can command even higher salaries. So, don’t down play software engineering. Similarly, you can do well as database administrator, database developer, Linux system Administrator, Windows System Administrator, Quality Assurance Engineer, Project Management etc.

    People should NEVER do project management after ONLY 6 months of developer experience. You will never be a good project manager and your skill set will remain mediocre. In US, my few friends are doing project management after spending many years as developer.

  • Asher Fawad

    I have a question for you guys.
    What is the name of the company in Pakistan which builds the fleet/work force management software? I knew the name but have forgotten it. It was something like Tracker or tera data.

    If you guys know please give me their correct name and web address. Thanks

  • suhaib

    It is very easy to critisize. The thing is what an individual has done in this regard.

    If we all produce good solutions then we will inshAllah beat the international market sooner or later so start working on it.

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