A few days ago, I was with my friend who is an expert Software Developer working as an android application developer on Fiverr and Upwork. We are talking about the trends, and software house ecosystem in Pakistan, when he told me that software houses don’t count freelancing experience, it came to me as a great shock.
The recent Covid attacks and the sudden decline in the freelancing industry compelled him to search for a job in local software houses till the situation gets back to normal.
To his surprise, most of the software houses either offered a fraction of what he was earning online or totally rejected him by saying “Freelance experience is not counted in Software houses.”
When he said that freelancing experiences are counted everywhere else in the world, the interviewer said, “Why don’t you go and settle there”? He was telling me his story in a great shock, and I can tell I was more shocked to hear such behavior and level of unprofessionalism.
Later, I dug deep into the Software house ecosystem of Pakistan and found that Software houses in small cities, majority of these Software houses are just money generating machines that offer outdated courses to students for 15 thousand rupees.
These courses that are offered in exchange for 15 thousand rupees for 3 months are nothing that is used in today’s world. I reached out to one of the students learning this course in a notable software house in Rahimyar khan, I questioned him about the course content, and his reply was more shocking!
Interview with a student
Question: So, what do you learn in the Software house?
Ans: They are teaching us HTML, CSS, BOOTSTRAP and now I am learning CSS.
Question: What projects have you been working lately?
Answer: We are not working on any project, but we are taught simple layouts for now.
Question: What do you hope to achieve after a 3-months course?
Answer: I will be a website developer
After questioning the student, I talked with people in different software houses, to get knowledge about how they hire developers in their software houses.
So, what these software houses are trying to achieve?
For the past years, these software houses have become money-making mafias that don’t care about the future of students.
I looked up in the PSEB (Pakistan Software Export Board) to look for any certified software houses in Rahimyar khan and other small cities and there was not a single certified software house.
While cities like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi have many registered and certified professional software houses.
There are still some professional software houses that are not registered but such software houses don’t offer professional courses or internships because of the work.
Freelancing is booming in Pakistan:
In the year 2020, Payoneer published a report, “Freelancing in 2020: An Abundance of Opportunities.” This report showed that Pakistan is the eighth fastest-growing freelance- economy in the world. Thanks to mentors like Hisham Sarwar and govt programs like DigiSkill that encourage students to learn new skills for free.
There is no shortage of talent in Pakistan and DigiSkill has proved it by creating millionaires through Freelancing. What students in Pakistan need are direction and good mentors.
Due to this initiative of the government, and local mentors promoting freelancing. The Freelancing industry is growing by leaps and bounds in Pakistan, but still, there are a lot of issues that the freelancers have to go through, which includes Banking issues and the absence of PayPal.