The Software Developer Shortage: What Happens Now?

The Software Developer Shortage

By the end of 2020, the global talent shortage reached over 40 million skilled workers according to statistics from the United States Labor division. In 2021, the world continued and currently continues to feel this labor shortage, which is only going to get worse if the trend continues further. Estimates are already in the trillions of lost revenue due to the lack of skilled talent on a global scale.

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One of the sectors majorly hit by the lack of skilled workers is software development. The question of how the world got to this point isn’t exactly understood or known. However, the most likely answer is that there are just not enough people in the United States and abroad becoming computer science experts or graduates, and there just aren’t enough developers looking for jobs at this time.

The Factors Leading to the Developer Shortage

The recent technological innovations put into use regularly for companies are part of the reason this shortage exists in the first place. As technology progresses, the skillsets of developers must also keep up. This leaves human resource departments and recruiters battling for highly skilled software developers.

Organizations began recruiting highly skilled developers to deal with the explosion of technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, data science, and so on. While these new advancements are incredibly helpful for businesses of all types, they are fairly new and rather complex. Without the right skilled devs to match the techs, they aren’t really usable.

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Blockchain is another recent tech advancement making waves in the world of Information technology and driving the demand for additional software talent. Many major industries, such as healthcare, cybersecurity, and financial tech, are all implementing it into their businesses. That explains why companies struggle to find the right candidate to fill a developer role at their organization with a beginner’s level or rudimentary knowledge of blockchain tech.

Developers can’t just pick up the skills necessary to manage and work with these complicated technologies by simply learning on the job. Overall, they require an array of advanced skills, more qualifications and training, and generally more experience than traditionally required. Many of them are their own majors or specialties in college that devs need to get through to learn all the intricacies of the tech.

In addition to the technical challenges, companies are concurrently dealing with the demands for higher salaries by potential job applicants. With fewer applicants vying for work and thus allowing them to cherrypick their new job position, they also have the ability to demand higher salaries for their services. Some companies don’t want to pay these higher rates than previously experienced while others can’t compete with big enterprises when going after the same talent.

Managing the Talent Shortage

While the talent shortage isn’t blamable on either the side of the developers themselves or the hiring companies, everyone involved must work together to help close this gap in the software development world and beyond. There are a few different options for companies looking to hire a talented software developer during this talent shortage, including:

1. Invest in the skills of new talent – Artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cybersecurity are just a few of the technologies with the highest demand today. However, some devs just might not have experience with them yet. If the right candidate comes along who ticks all of the other job requirement boxes, companies need to invest in upskilling their new developers.
By choosing to further train or educate the developers who have all of the other skills and requirements for a job instead of holding out for a golden goose of a candidate, companies save themselves time, recruiting costs, and human resources efforts. This not only helps fill positions faster during this skills shortage but also allows companies to train the developers on the technologies they need the most.

2. Look for Talent In-House – If an in-house development team already exists, companies should consider their wealth of talent already on the payroll. Some of these employees may find themselves willing to learn new skills or learn how to take on a new position to advance their careers. However, companies must note and be careful to ensure that these employees aren’t taking on too much and aren’t asked to do 2 jobs at the same time.

3. Partner with an outsourcing provider – One of the best ways to help navigate new technology waters without hiring developers in-house is by working with an outsourcing provider. These companies have access to the top talent in a variety of industries and have the manpower, experience, and expertise to get all types of jobs done. Outsourcing providers also take on much of the responsibility of managing a development team.

While it may take quite a while for the global talent shortage to fully equalize and stabilize, companies have a few options available to them if they just haven’t found the ideal candidate for a specific job role.

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