Now that more companies are immersing themselves in blockchain, AI, and application development, software developers have become one of the most in-demand professions in the US. This rise in demand could’ve been a good thing, but there’s one big problem: the current shortage of skilled developers. A recent survey by CodinGame revealed that 61% of HR professionals struggle with recruiting qualified developers. In 2021, businesses are racing to hire the best talent. Approximately 64% of companies are planning to recruit 50 software developers, while 14% said they were looking to fill up to 100 open slots. But with the shortage of talents, is there a way to get it done?
Factors Affecting the Shortage of Software Developers
Recruiters are battling for highly skilled software developers, and it’s because of all the tech innovations. Since 2019, organizations have been on the lookout for developers with experience in relevant areas, particularly artificial intelligence (AI). Though developers have already been utilizing the foundations of AI, a report by Gartner predicts that AI-based business will be worth USD$3.9 trillion by 2022. This means that the industry will only continue to become more complex—but of course, this development cannot be done without highly skilled professionals to match.
On top of this, the rising popularity of blockchain technology is also driving the demand for software talents. BairesDev’s CEO Nacho De Marco stated that blockchain’s sudden popularity is one of the biggest factors that led to the talent shortage. Companies are struggling to find developers who have at least rudimentary knowledge of blockchain, since the fintech, cybersecurity, and healthcare sectors are beginning to recognize its perks.
Finally, cybersecurity experts are in demand, especially now that the pandemic has caused individuals and organizations to rely on digital services more than ever. Businesses are shelling out for cybersecurity experts, due to the increasing shortage of professionals and the rising amount of cybercrimes.
How the Shortage Affects Businesses
Handling AI, blockchain technology, and cybersecurity isn’t a walk in the park, so it takes a whole slew of advanced skills to get the job done.
As pointed out by the Association for Computing Machinery, these hard-to-fill software developer vacancies require more qualifications and experience from applicants. Developers need to pursue higher education and accumulate at least two years of experience to have a good grip of these skills, which is why these positions are 40% more difficult to fill compared to entry-level positions. The struggle is real for organizations that are trying to find the balance between searching for field experts and allowing for more entry-level professionals.
If these organizations aren’t able to find the right talents, the shortage can impact their product innovation and business performance. The Association for Computing Machinery’s article further points out that these unfilled positions could reduce a company’s productivity levels by as much as 65%! This number could even shoot up if a company has workers with skill gaps. Without any experts around, businesses have no choice but to put their innovation projects on hold and make do with what they have.
Potential Solutions for the Talent Shortage
It takes two to tango, so both professionals and companies must work hand in hand to fill the gap for software developers. To address the shortage of talent in software development, here are some potential solutions:
Invest in Specializing the Skills of Professionals
AI, blockchain, and cybersecurity are just a few of the technological innovations developers have to learn to bridge the gap. To meet the demand for these skills, professionals and even companies need to invest in upskilling developers.
Aspiring software developers can get started with online educational resources that cover the basics of computer science, such as data structures and computer architecture. After learning the fundamentals, they can fill their thirst for knowledge and the talent shortage at the same time by learning programming languages that are needed for these innovations, like Ruby and Java.
These resources and short courses even rival modern master’s degrees in software development. Such programs have courses on the creation, architecture, and presentation of software programs and applications. This allows professionals to improve their programming skills and deepen their knowledge when it comes to complex databases. It’s a win-win situation, as they can get a good grasp of current and future technological advancements through these programs.
These educational opportunities are critical in providing the necessary knowledge and skills that professionals need to develop software programs. And no doubt, educational accessibility has a huge part to play in catering to the software developer shortage.
Improve Strategies in Sourcing Talent
Finding skilled workers is extra tough during this time, so companies need to step up when it comes to their strategies in hiring and outsourcing talents. Raising the salaries for these roles isn’t enough nowadays as most companies are doing the same, so businesses also need to provide the job benefits that software developers want. After all, CodinGame’s survey reveals that these professionals only consider the salary as the fourth most important factor when considering job offers. On the other hand, being offered interesting technical challenges at work, having flexible working hours, and getting a work-life balance tops the list.
Companies can also increase their productivity and pursue more innovation projects by outsourcing talents. Software outsourcing companies can give businesses more access to experts who have a wide range of advanced skills, like UX design and blockchain consulting. By outsourcing a team of professionals, companies can rest assured that they will receive high-quality software customizations every single time.
The shortage of skilled shortage software developers is a huge problem in the tech industry, but it can be solved. To decrease this shortage, organizations need to invest in upskilling workers, while recruitment teams should improve their sourcing strategies to gain the best possible results.