Recent stories about layoffs in the tech industry have made some people ask themselves whether or not now is a good time to become a software developer. It’s a natural question to ask, especially considering how we perceive companies like these as the largest “tech” companies. However, technology will not stop growing regardless of their correction to existing staff numbers. The digital skills gap is enlarging, and employers from all industries are still screaming out for software developers. This article discusses why now is still a great time to become a software developer.
The Tech Industry
While the news in recent months has indicated a slowdown within certain companies, the story is still positive for developers. Some of the larger social media companies that let staff go in 2022 had one thing in common. Most of those who were let go were not in software development roles.
For example, sources indicate that those who were employed in human resources, recruitment, marketing and more were the ones who were worst impacted by the downsizing of said companies.
It’s also worth noting that with the numerous lockdowns due to COVID-19, the demand for those companies’ products grew rapidly, and as the world went back to pre-COVID living, the demand for those products reduced. Unfortunately, those massive tech firms self-admittedly over-hired, and their cutbacks bring them back to what they were realistically before COVID-19.
Software developers are not just in-demand in the “tech” industry. Programmers are needed in every industry. Whether it’s healthcare, retail, finance, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, construction, or any other industry you can imagine, developers have a massive role to play. Likewise, while some of the biggest companies in the world did reduce their employee numbers, the ever-expanding SME market still employs more than 90% of workers in the UK and Europe, and guess what? They need people with programming skills too.
Another thing that is important to note is that tech is not all-of-a-sudden going to stop expanding and growing. Technology will always grow in every single industry. The people that build these technologies and solutions are software developers.
Reported Jobs Statistics:
At the time of writing, the table below shows the number of software jobs that hiring managers are currently trying to fill, according to the international jobs site, Indeed. While not every employer uses Indeed, and this search doesn’t cover all the roles that software developers can do, it indicates how in-demand software developers are. It’s also worth noting that as many as 60% of jobs are not advertised and are attained through the hidden jobs market.
Some may find statistics to be boring. However, they tell a story of a time and place, and right now, they spell out an ever-growing skills crisis. For example, Nash Squared, a global tech solutions company, reports that 68% of UK digital leaders say a lack of digital skills impedes progress.
The European Commission uses a similar figure for European-based businesses. They report, “Over 70% of businesses have said that the lack of staff with adequate digital skills is an obstacle to investment. Europe also faces a shortage of digital experts who can develop cutting-edge technologies for the benefit of all citizens”.
According to a survey by the digital infrastructure company Equinix, among 2,900 IT leaders, expansion plans are still on the horizon from many companies based in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. “Despite an uncertain economic outlook, some 72% of global businesses are planning ambitious expansions into new markets, supported by major investments in digital technologies.”
In Ireland, it is reported that 60% of US firms in Ireland expect to increase their headcount over the next year. The same report says that only 4% of those expect to decrease numbers.
Time to become a software developer
Technology will continue to grow at a fast pace, and the opportunities available now are as plentiful as ever. Governments will continue to include digital upskilling policies in their agendas, and companies will invest further in their technology infrastructures.