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Why are developers in such high demand right now?

(Image credit: Image Credit: Christina Morillo / Pexels)

The tech industry has seen explosive growth over the past several decades with more and more companies relying on top-notch development talent for their day-to-day operations. Programmers are playing an increasingly critical role in many organizations. Despite the hundreds of thousands of tech graduates entering the job market every year, there is a vast shortage of development talent. What does this mean about the industry? 

Technology is more complex

The idea of a “full-stack” developer is obsolete. You need people with expertise in a specific technology for numerous reasons, from backend to frontend to Android to iOS. There are simply too many technology stacks for any single person to be an expert in them all. To fully leverage the technology, you need people who can work with it from any angle and inside and out. Security, patching, updates, automation, and other development activities also require people who are experts. Big tech companies hire specific people for backend, frontend, mobile, etc for their expertise and ability to leverage the technology entirely.

As technology becomes more complex, the people who implement it in your environment must fully understand it. Without expertise, you run the risk of having issues and performance degradation from poor implementations. It can also lead to vulnerabilities and data breaches from an application being compromised.

The learning curve grew exponentially

It used to take a minimal amount of time to bring a developer up to speed within the organization, but the complexity of technology has increased this time. On average, it can take a developer three or four years before taking on an important role, either maintaining an application or developing a new system.

Part of this issue comes from universities teaching older technology, so students do not have hands-on experience. The organization then becomes responsible for training new developers on technologies and maintaining a complex environment.

Technology keeps evolving at a rapid pace

The thing is technology never stops evolving. In fact, it is rapidly evolving at a faster and faster pace. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science are hot careers at the moment. Developers are hungry to learn these new technologies and are happy to take on new challenges.

Because technology continues to change, it is hard for organizations to keep up with the rapidly changing pace. For example, when the iPhone was first released in 2007, Objective-C was the primary coding language for app development. Then, in 2014 Apple introduced their new standard, Swift. When standards change, developers must be trained, new resources are necessary to support technology, and new staff to manage it.

Companies don’t want to train developers for several years 

Hiring new staff for emerging technologies is expensive, but so is training new employees. Good developers know that they are in high demand. In the development world, it’s becoming less and less common to stay with the same company for ten years. Instead, developers know that they can move on after a couple of years for better pay and benefits. They can also obtain additional experience as leverage to boost their careers.

The need for developers has shifted to an employee market. Developers can demand better pay, flexibility, benefits, and bonuses. Organizations must evaluate their current employee package to ensure that it is competitive in today’s market.

Covid-19 forced a change in the way employees work

Because of the change to a remote workforce, companies needed software to support the change in productivity. Lockdowns ramped up the need for developers and applications that helped remote workers. Developers leaving for a new career left projects delayed and extended the timeline for updates and maintenance on existing applications.

Technology giants have a leg up

Many graduates with bright futures benefit from being recruited by big tech companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter. This makes it more competitive for other companies to recruit and attract the right talent.

You can still attract great people who do not want to relocate to Silicon Valley. For example, offering remote work to employees will give them more flexibility and increase your talent pool. Employees who value flexibility over any other benefit will prefer your company over a large enterprise with limited options for remote work.

Solving the difficulty of retaining and hiring developers

Especially after the pandemic, companies have difficulty retaining developers and attracting the best talent available on the market. Unfortunately, there’s no simple solution. The reality is that more companies need to invest in training alongside great benefits and wages. The best answer is to establish a relationship with a reliable development team – whether that is through hiring internally or with a development company.

If you choose to hire internally, your benefits package and offer will make a significant difference in the talent you can attract. Not only will you attract new talent, but the way you structure benefits and wages will generate loyalty so that the organization can retain them for years.

If you choose to hire a company – do your research on their turnover and risk mitigation strategies. Mid to large-sized firms are more reliable as they have larger resource pools, but that quality comes with a cost.

The world, as with technology, evolves rapidly. High demand for quality developers will ultimately lead to higher development costs for your business but understanding the reasons why can help you make the best decisions when it comes to training, hiring, and resourcing.

Nik Froehlich, CEO and Founder, Saritasa

Nik Froehlich is the CEO and Founder of Saritasa. His passion for technology and the incredible enhancements it brings to our everyday lives is what inspired him to start Saritasa back in 2005. He recognized that many businesses are often afraid to adopt new technologies and sought to bridge the gap between innovation and business.