JOHOR BARU: In less than three years after graduation, a good coder can earn up to RM6,000 a month, said Louis Ooi, president of the southern region of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises ( Samenta).
“So if your business needs a coder to run your software, you better know what the market price is for them,” he said.
Commenting on the shortage of engineers in the country, Ooi said the greatest demand currently is for software engineering workers. “But the salary is not the only thing. Let’s say an encoder asks for RM4,000 per month, and you agree, but after thinking about it, that encoder can still decline.
“You have to offer a perception of the higher value of work. Is your software patented?
“If your offering includes their names in the next release patent, they might be very excited to join your company,” he said.
Ooi stressed that the location of the workplace is also important.
“We have a company with an office in Seberang Prai (Mainland Penang), but it was only able to get coders after moving its data center to the island,” he said.
In software engineering, a coder is the most junior member of the team, responsible for puncturing the code that allows software to perform specific functions.
Ooi said the chief software engineer, who could earn a salary of 12,000 to 15,000 RM per month, must have more than 10 years of experience and be able to design, develop, maintain, test and evaluate the whole system.
“Bosses need to know that coders are generally not good at articulating.
“They may even lack interpersonal skills. But when you clearly tell them what you want the software to do, you’ll be amazed at the logic of their programming, ”he said.
Ooi also advised companies to look beyond the academic qualifications of potential coders.
“You might find candidates with a degree in physics or chemistry, but they’ve learned to code and love it. Look for natural talent, ”he said. Ooi encourages the younger generation to acquire software engineering skills early.
In fact, he helped his son develop an interest in the field of data science.
“A few years ago, when it became fashionable for car dashboards to have digital gauges instead of analogues, a company won a car manufacturer’s dashboard project, then many other manufacturers approached him.
“Ultimately, the company had a team of around 100 coders because every automaker wanted their dashboards to be unique.
“Now this company has a strong team of coders and is ready to take on bigger tasks,” he said.