UAE jobs and salaries: how much does coding and programming pay?

New UAE initiative will train 100,000 computer programmers - here's our guide to this fast-growing profession

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates- Feb,17, 2016: Students at the Hamdan Bin Zayed school participate in the  Google Science First initiative program  organised by ADEC which  helps teach students computer science and coding in AbuDhabi.  ( Satish Kumar / The National  ) 
ID No: 70551
Section: News
Reporter: Roberta Pennington *** Local Caption ***  SK-HamdanSchool-17022016-02.jpg
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Computer programming, one of the most in-demand professions in the world, is expected to become increasingly popular in the UAE after a deal was signed with leading technology companies.

On Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced a national initiative in which major companies will train 100,000 youngsters in computer programming within five years.

Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, IBM, LinkedIn, Nvidia and Facebook will collaborate in the programme.

The goal is to create 1,000 digital companies and increase government support for start-ups from Dh1.5 billion to Dh4bn ($408.4 million to $1.08bn).

Nevin Lewis, chief executive of Black and Grey Human Resources, said the training campaign would help to launch the careers of future leaders in the world of technology.

“Based on my recent UAE job market observations and recruitment experience, I can confidently say that you’ll be in luck,” he said.

“There are plenty of new programming jobs being created by ambitious tech entrepreneurs who are scouting for talent to collaborate with and bring ideas to life.

“However, don’t expect instant gratification – all programming careers take patience and attention to detail.

“You might consider getting your foot in the door by building your foundational knowledge and portfolio.

“Personally, I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that an entertaining application or sophisticated computer program all boils down to a string of code.”

Most programming jobs have a starting salary of Dh10,000 a month or more for entry-level positions.

Karuna Agarwal, director of Future Tense Human Resource Solutions, said salaries may also depend on a person's level of education and experience.

"With technical expertise at its base, professional prospects for coding are driven by the depth of both functional and industrial expertise.

With technical expertise at its base, professional prospects for coding are driven by the depth of both functional and industrial expertise.

“The UAE's persistent push for raising the bars of digitisation across the economy got a further boost with the latest announcement on the mega plan for coders.”

Here are some of the top jobs in computer programming and coding:

DevOps engineer

The entry-level monthly salary of a DevOps engineer starts from Dh12,500. It rises to Dh25,000 for mid-level jobs and Dh35,000 for senior level positions.

These engineers are IT professionals who work with software developers, system operators and other production IT staff to oversee code releases and deployments.

Full stack developer

The entry-level salary for this profession starts at Dh10,000, rising to Dh18,000 for mid-level posts and Dh25,000 for senior positions.

A full stack developer is a web developer or engineer who works on the front and back ends of a website or app.

“This means they can tackle projects that involve databases, building user-facing websites, or even work with clients during the planning phase of projects,” Mr Lewis said.

“There’s often not a black-and-white distinction between front-end and back-end development. Full stack developers are jacks-of-all-trades.”

Software application developer

This job comes with a starting salary of Dh10,000 a month for entry-level positions, Dh18,000 for mid-level roles and Dh30,000 for senior jobs.

Application developers are also known as software developers or software architects. They are responsible for developing and modifying source code for software applications, which help customers with computer programs.

They design computer applications, such as games and custom software.

Back-end developer/engineer

The starting salary for this role is Dh10,000 for entry-level, Dh12,000 for mid-level and Dh30,000 for senior level.

A back-end engineer designs, builds and maintains the server of web applications. They must also know programming languages.

Mr Lewis said some of the in-demand programming languages were Python, JavaScript, Java, HTML5, Oracle PL/SQL, PERL, Ruby / Ruby on Rails, C++, PHP and Swift.

Front-end developer/engineer

A front-end engineer works with designers to make a website functional, user-friendly and fast.

These jobs are in high demand, particularly for those who are skilled in developing websites for mobile devices.

Entry-level salaries start at Dh10,000 and rise to Dh15,000 for mid-level jobs and Dh30,000 for senior positions.

UX developer

A user experience (UX) engineer builds and designs digital products such as websites and apps.

This is one of the most in-demand jobs in the world of programming, as companies around the world strengthen their digital services.

The starting salary for entry-level positions is Dh10,000, mid-level positions can earn a starting salary of Dh15,000 and senior roles can reach Dh30,000.

Quality assurance/test analyst

This profession has the same starting salary as a UX developer.

A quality assurance analyst reviews the website or software product before it is released to the public.

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Updated: July 12, 2021, 8:05 AM