Saturday, April 15, 2017

How many licensed, self-employed programmers are there in Cuba?

The Cuban government has licensed more self-employed computer programmers than clowns and button coverers combined.

The other day I wrote a somewhat optimistic post pointing out that the Cuban government and government software companies are reaching out to self-employed programmers. One of the reasons for my optimism was a recent informatics and communication workshop, TICS 2017, billed as an exchange between state and non-state sectors working together for the society.

Cubadebate covered the workshop and wrote that about 5% of the roughly 900 self-employed programmers in Havana attended. An anonymous source told me there are 904 licensed programmers in Havana and provided the following license counts for three of the 201 occupations eligible for private employment.

Number of Cuban self-employment licenses

It is encouraging to see that the number of licensed programmers exceeds the number of clowns and button coverers combined. That being said, licensed programmers are more likely to be inactive and the opposite holds true for both clowns and button coverers.

Joking aside, we see another positive trend -- the number of active, self-employed programmers has grown steadily and the growth rate has increased every year:

Number of active programmer licenses each year

A couple years ago, I wrote a post asking whether Cuba would allow software exports -- it seems the answer may be "yes."

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