5 Stats to Know About the Software Developer Shortage

5 Stats Illustrating the Developer Shortage 
Facing Enterprise Organizations

Over the past few years, organizations have come to the realization that, to remain competitive in the marketplace, their development teams need to modernize legacy systems, drive operational efficiency, and engage customers with innovative solutions. And to do that, they need software developers.

There’s just one problem: Enterprise organizations have been facing a professional developer shortage for the past few years. But as consumers incorporate new technologies into their daily lives, they expect the organizations they work with to do the same.

These five statistics offer a snapshot of the software developer shortage facing enterprise organizations. But it’s not all bad news. We also offer several ways that companies can address the shortage to help them meet their business goals.

5 Statistics That Illustrate the Developer Shortage

1. It takes 80 days to fill a developer role

In 2016, it took 66 days to fill a developer role. In 2019, that increased to 80 days. Compare that with the average time to fill a non-tech position, at just 42 days. The reason for the increase, according to iCIMS, is the number of candidates applying to each role. With more candidates applying to each role, businesses spend more time interviewing, even if they may not be the right fit.

In order to fill these open developer roles, companies need to find qualified applicants using a combination of traditional and non-traditional methods (more on that below).

2. 25% of households use voice assistants

Part of the reason enterprise companies face a growing need for software developers is due to the new technologies that are now part of consumers’ daily lives.

Over 85% percent of consumers own a smartphone and at least 25% of households have an AI assistant, like Amazon Alexa, sitting on their desk. Industries that were once technology averse, like banking or insurance, now face greater competition to deliver tech products to consumers across multiple devices and platforms. And consumers are interested in working with companies that can integrate these new technologies, like voice assistants, into their interactions.

3. Only 31% of companies find hiring to be effective

Given that there are more applications for software developer roles and longer hiring windows, it should come as no surprise that less than one-third of organizations find hiring to be the most effective way to address the developer shortage. Companies that are open to non-traditional candidates or implement in-house training programs find that they are better able to address the skills gap.

4. 63% of developers enjoy problem solving

Understanding what draws software developers to different roles can help enterprises make these positions as attractive as possible.

When Hired asked software developers what drew them to their careers, 72% answered “New challenges and continuous learning,” and just over 63% answered “Building solutions and problem solving.”

5. 43% of workers left their jobs for better benefits

The Covid-19 pandemic kicked off The Great Resignation, where a wave of employees left their jobs in search of more flexible schedules, better benefits, and higher pay. With many white-collar workers logging in remotely, they had the opportunity to reflect on what they wanted in a job.

It’s no surprise that higher salaries topped the list. But perhaps more surprisingly, so did the benefits. Forty-three percent of respondents left their roles because of the lack of benefits, like paid time off or health insurance.

How Enterprises Can Address the Software Developer Shortage

When faced with these stats, it can be easy to feel like your company is fighting a losing battle. But executives can still attract top talent and address the software developer shortage. To rise to the occasion, companies can:

  • Invest more in training
  • Offer better benefits
  • Seek out candidates from non-traditional backgrounds
  • Invest more in low-code/no-code platforms

1. Invest more in training

To address the developer shortage, companies are instituting their own training programs to upskill employees with less technical backgrounds. By mentoring these employees, companies can realize productivity gains faster.

Existing team members may already be familiar with other core elements of the business or with its customers. Half of the leaders surveyed by McKinsey found skill building will better address the shortage than simply hiring more developers.

2. Offer better benefits

As Covid-19 has shown employers, workers are just as interested in benefits as they are in higher pay. Those benefits can include health insurance as well as remote work options and flexible working hours. Pew Research found that 45% of respondents cited a lack of flexibility in when they could log their hours. In order to stand apart from the competition, organizations will have to meet these needs.

3. Seek out candidates from non-traditional backgrounds

Robert Cireddu put it best: “The key to nontraditional hiring and internal training successfully is the same as any other: Hiring the right people, giving them the proper training, giving them permission to fail in learning, and, finally, the independence and latitude to succeed.”

Seeking out candidates from non-traditional backgrounds, like coding bootcamps, may help ease the developer shortage and give companies the skills they need to stay competitive.

For this endeavor to be successful, companies may also have to look closely at their processes and update them accordingly. Enterprises need to think outside the box and incorporate problem solvers with non-traditional backgrounds for software development careers to capitalize on their excellent soft skills and business acumen.

4. Invest in low-code/no-code

Organizations are leveraging low-code and no-code platforms to accelerate application delivery by incorporating analysts in the line of business to develop enterprise-grade applications without having to learn how to code. Development managers are looking outside their own teams, experience, and skills to address the rising tide of requests and the pressure to deliver iteratively and rapidly.

Low-code also offers an opportunity for citizen developers — or those without a coding background — to contribute their insights to solve the problem quickly. The cross-pollination of ideas, hands-on development, and collaborative problem solving strengthens the entire organization, leading to applications customers love.

By approaching the software developer shortage with a combination of traditional and non-traditional approaches, companies are likely to see major benefits for their business partners.

As application demand continues to skyrocket, incorporating alternative strategies to solve the developer shortage is a winning strategy for your development team and your organization’s effectiveness as a whole.

This article was originally published on May 1, 2018 and has been updated.