Over the last few years, Egypt has emerged as a major IT outsourcing destination in the Middle East and North Africa, mainly due to government initiatives and the availability of a large pool of educated workers.
A growing number of multinational companies are now picking Egypt over traditional markets like India and China to set up their call centres, BPO facilities, and shared- services centers. Overall revenue in the country’s Information and communications technology (ICT) sector surpassed US$4.52 billion in 2018, and is expected to hit US$5.1 billion by 2020, according to the Brussels Research Group.
Apart from attracting foreign firms, the country’s expanding IT infrastructure has also enabled one of the region’s fastest growing startup ecosystems. In this environment, software engineers are witnessing rising demand for their services.
These computer science professionals use their knowledge of programming languages and software engineering principles to do everything from building software products to developing network control systems. Average base pay for software engineers in the country is about 100,000 Egyptian pounds (US$6,200), according to sources including PayScale and Glassdoor, but vary according to location, programmer experience, and company policies on bonus and profit sharing. Lower-level programmers may earn 60,000 EGP while very experienced engineers may earn twice as much as average.
As competition in the market heats up, these IT professionals must keep themselves up-to-date with the latest developments in the field. Based on the qualifications demanded by Egypt-based companies for the role of software engineer, CIO Middle East has put together a list of certifications and courses:
ISTQB, or the International Software Testing Qualifications Board, has become a global leader in the certification of competences in software testing. The organisation’s foundational certification – the 2018 Foundation Level qualification – is suitable for candidates who need to demonstrate practical knowledge of the fundamental concepts of software testing. It also offers advanced and expert level qualifications for more experienced and skilled professionals.
Foundation Level exam cost: US$229 (3,704 EGP)
Python programming certification
Python is a powerful, easy-to-use scripting language suitable for use in an enterprise. It has soared in popularity in recent years as more beginners pick it over older programs such as C++ and Java. While courses can be found on most popular e-learning websites such as Udemy and Coursera, the Python Institute, which is an independent non-profit institution, offers a Certified Associate in Python Programming certification that measures the candidate’s ability to accomplish coding tasks related to the basics of programming in the Python language.
Certified Associate in Python Programming certification cost: US$295 (4,770 EGP)
Selenium, a widely used automation testing tool, has grown in popularity due to its ease of use, availability and simplicity. Selenium certificate and diploma short courses are available on Coursera that can teach IT professionals the basic knowledge of recording, editing, and debugging tests. iSQI (The International Software Quality Institute) also offers an A4Q Selenium Tester Foundation certification, which tests the candidate’s ability to create and run Selenium WebDriver tests without supervision, among other things.
A4Q Selenium Tester Foundation certification cost: US$200 (3,242 EGP)
Appium is an open-source tool for automating native, mobile web, and hybrid applications on iOS, Android mobile, and Windows desktop platform. Udemy’s Appium course will enable professionals to develop a mobile automation framework from scratch, and also equip them with the knowledge to lead an entire Appium automation project from the design stage.
Course cost: US$12.99 (210 EGP)
SQL, short for structured query language, is the world’s most widely used database language. The Knowledge Academy’s Introduction to SQL course teaches basic techniques such as selecting, inserting, and deleting data as well as the production of databases and apps.
Cost: US$495 (7,994 EGP)
XML, short for eXtensible markup language, is a metalanguage that allows users to define their own customized markup languages, in order to display documents on the Internet. The Knowledge Academy’s XML Fundamentals course teaches candidates to write well-formed XML documents, while enforcing document validity, and using XSLT and stylesheets to transform XML documents.
Cost: US$495 (7,994 EGP)
MCSD: App Builder
The Microsoft certified solutions developer certification qualifies the candidate for the role of an application developer. Candidates are required to pass an exam and will be required to have knowledge of technologies such as: Azure, C#, SharePoint, Office Client, Visual Studio, .Net, and HTML5.
Cost: US$150 (2,424 EGP)
Postman, a software development tool used by millions of developers around the world, allows engineers to test calls to APIs (application programming interfaces). Pluralsights’s course teaches the fundamentals of Postman, including issuing requests, and creating automated API tests.
This is a software development process where professionals arrive at solutions through collaboration among self-organising, cross-functional teams. It is quickly becoming the choice for software developers in scenarios where requirements are unpredictable or expected to change over time. Coursera’s online course will help candidates gain knowledge on agile, its uses, and some of the most common agile frameworks like scrum and XP in depth.
Cost: $49 per month for subscription