The 2022 State of Developer Shortage

The 2022 State of Developer Shortage-01

Prior to 2020, businesses were already having difficulty finding tech talent. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the situation by driving up demand for digital gateways into organizations, products, and services that are subject to lockdown restrictions. As a result, it’s no surprise that developers are in such great demand. Organizations need to explore beyond standard hiring efforts given their scarce supply.

The year 2021 has been dubbed the “Great Developer Drought.” Demand for software developers has exceeded supply all over the world. This has always been the case, but with the 2020 crisis forcing businesses to postpone digital transformation initiatives, 2021 saw a surge in demand for skilled developers who, simply put, aren’t available.

Andy Peddar, CEO, Deazy says, “There are two principal challenges for enterprises – capacity and capability. There’s a major shortage of developers, and there’s not a day that goes by that you don’t hear about someone who’s got problems with hiring or retention in their development team. Six-figure salaries are the norm, and yet organizations still can’t keep people. There are not enough people to go around essentially.”

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“When you factor in the move towards a more digital native society, the need for good developers has become much greater. Pretty much everything requires development now – every app, website, and more – it’s all underpinned by code. This ‘digitise or die’ movement has been accelerated even further by the pandemic and enterprises must be mindful of the shortage of development talent when continuing their digital transformation projects in 2022,” he adds.

Software development profit margins can be slim, as there’s always the chance of running into issues that demand more time and money to rectify. Smaller, more riskier apps commissioned by startups will tend to be sidelined in favor of safer, larger initiatives now that development companies can pick and choose which projects they work on.

Nearshoring to the Rescue

The location of an IT project is critical to its success, and it may often make or break software development. This is where nearshoring enters the picture.

A near-shored software development business helps organizations to obtain expert knowledge for their cultural counterparts by opening up a pool of fresh talent. Nearshore IT partners, as an extension of the team, can apply their professional capabilities and skills to the company’s weak points, such as a new issue that has arisen as a result of the pandemic. Furthermore, by creating a space to build high-quality and innovative software solutions that drive overall competitiveness, this form of local investment can reinforce the competitive advantage of an organization.

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New Hiring Trends

Companies are beginning to consider new approaches to hiring as high-quality, local developers become increasingly scarce. Traditionally, employers used to conduct technical interviews with university graduates.

Because there is a scarcity of professionally qualified graduates, businesses are beginning to accept candidates who have taken less traditional paths. After all, why should they be concerned about their paper qualifications if they can demonstrate that they can do the job?

As a result, candidates who have re-skilled while working in other fields or have attended programming boot camp are now considered for software engineering positions.

Is this going to close the developer gap? Not right away. There will be always more work than developers, and learning their subject and how to “perform the job” in the real world takes time. What will most likely happen is that the industry will profit from an infusion of junior developers, who will naturally mature over the following few years. While it’s a temporary respite, nearshoring is likely to be the way of the future, with development costs rising inexorably for the foreseeable future.

Will Things Better In 2022?

In 2022, there will be some relief from the challenge due to nearshoring and a willingness to consider non-university graduates, but demand for developers is growing faster than the market can provide them.

When a volatile job market is factored in, it’s safe to say that developers will be in short supply for the foreseeable future. Employers will have to strike a tough balance between the availability of developers and the profitability of the projects on which they work – prices will undoubtedly rise. Right now, everything is in place for a perfect storm.

It will never be easy to locate good developers at low costs, but 2022 has all the makings of being a challenging year.

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Prangya Pandab is an Associate Editor with OnDot Media. She is a seasoned journalist with almost seven years of experience in the business news sector. Before joining ODM, she was a journalist with CNBC-TV18 for four years. She also had a brief stint with an infrastructure finance company working for their communications and branding vertical.