Why Is There a Shortage of Developers in the World?

Why Is There a Shortage of Developers in the World

As demand for developers rises in the post-COVID world, companies struggle to find the right talent. 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a technological boom. As more businesses went digital, apps and websites became more and more relevant to sustain effective business functioning. While the need for apps and websites is increasing, the number of developers to keep them up and running has decreased.

According to U.S. Labor statistics, the global talent shortage is expected to reach 85.2 million by 2030, and hence companies around the world risk losing US $8.4 trillion in revenue. Some of the countries facing a developer shortage include the U.S., the UK, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Let’s dissect the various reasons behind this shortage and how it can be addressed. 

What’s causing the shortage?

There are two main reasons behind the developer shortage—lack of knowledge and experience and bias in the hiring process.

Lack of experience

The first and the most obvious reason for a developer shortage is the lack of experience among developers. Over the past few years, there have been many technological advancements. Many new realms of expertise, like blockchain engineering, serverless computing, machine learning and software application modernization, are now areas that need developers. Even though these new fields have opened up, the skills required to pursue them are not taught at educational institutions. This makes fresh graduates too inexperienced to hire.

Bias in the hiring process

Another factor influencing this shortage is that the traditional hiring process focuses too much on which schools the developers have graduated from. Recruiting influencer Hung Lee says, “We’re making false-positive decisions by hiring developers with name-brand employers on the CV, and we’re making false negative decisions by rejecting developers who don’t.” 

What challenges does this shortage pose to businesses?

Naturally, a shortage of developers is bad for business. If there is a smaller number of developers available, it means that companies have a smaller hiring pool to choose from. The smaller hiring pool forces companies to lure hires with competitive salaries. As we previously discussed, new developers don’t necessarily have the skills required for the up-and-coming fields. These two factors combined push companies to pay more to hire people without the right competencies.

A shortage of developers also means a fall in productivity, company growth and recruitment processes. 

How can this shortage be addressed?

There are a few ways to address the developer shortage. Companies should invest in upskilling their current developers. This can be done by providing training programs that focus on new technologies or areas of expertise.

Another good way to combat the shortage is to change hiring requirements. Instead of hiring only those developers who come from elite institutions, companies could focus on recruiting those who have attended coding boot camps or learned coding languages all by themselves. A 2017 survey by the job-hunting platform, Indeed, found that 80% of U.S. tech managers have hired graduates from coding boot camps. 

The bottom line is that businesses need to be proactive in order to address the developer shortage. They need to provide training and development opportunities for their current developers, and also attempt to create working conditions where the employees are happy. Only then can they overcome this challenge and continue to grow.

Header image courtesy of Freepik

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