Coding is at the base of the programs and applications we use in our daily lives. It is required for building great websites and updating applications. However, many people are surprised to learn that there is a shortage of coders in the digital era. Let’s examine how this shortage is impacting businesses, why it is occurring, and why outsourcing coding work is a great solution.
Is There a Coder Shortage?
Software programming has been touted as one of the hottest fields for students to get into for the past decade. This has led to considerable growth in the number of programmers worldwide. However, this number is no longer increasing at the rate required to meet the demand for programmers. Emerging companies are looking to hire a large number of coders but are disappointed to learn how small the labour pool in this field actually is. For example, one study found that 35% of employers in the United States intend to hire more than fifty coders for their operations. Around 6.7% of employers intend to hire between two hundred and five hundred coders.
As things currently stand, the United States is adding around 31,000 programming jobs each year. Based on this information, it is clear that the demand for coders is at an all-time high. So, what about the actual supply of coders? There were estimated to be around 24.5 million coders worldwide in 2020. This number is expected to increase to 27.7 million by 2023. That’s an increase of only 1 million coders per year. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 918,000 IT job vacancies at the end of 2021. They expect the number of IT job vacancies to increase by 22% each year and the number of coders to increase by only 8% each year.
How the Coder Shortage is Impacting Businesses
A coder shortage has widespread implications for businesses across various industries. This hit is felt in both business productivity and innovation. Such shortages result in performance reductions for firms with hard-to-fill vacancies. Hard-to-fill vacancies generally include openings for candidates with greater experience and qualifications than average. This includes IT positions that demand a minimum of two years of experience. Such positions are generally much more difficult to fill than entry-level positions for which the supply of candidates is much greater. The productivity reduction that occurs during an IT labour shortage becomes amplified due to several factors. Companies experiencing such shortages are forced to hire inexperienced workers, new graduates, and reduce their research and development investments. All these factors combine to slow down company growth and create bottlenecks in IT services and application development.
How Companies Can Improve Their Hiring and Retention Practices
Many growing businesses are also at risk of losing their existing developers. After all, these individuals are in high demand and are likely to get scoped out by bigger businesses capable of offering better qualifications. Such risks are especially great if the programmer is fluent in niche programming languages that few others are familiar with.
Some possible solutions to help companies improve their hiring and retention practices include:
Offering Employees the Type of Growth They Seek
Developers hired by businesses are typically placed in either a managerial track or a technical track. The managerial track generally includes positions such as staff software engineer or project and program manager. The technical track includes positions such as Senior Software Developer and Senior Software Developer II. This technical track therefore offers hires better career growth prospects without forcing them to adopt managerial duties. Many developers typically leave their existing company when they feel trapped in one track. Such developers seek out positions at other companies that would place them in the type of position they aspire to be in. For this reason, offering developers flexibility in changing their track can improve retention.
Offering Resources to Advance
Employees are also more likely to stay with a company if they are provided resources that facilitate internal career advancement. For example, businesses can offer developers online learning benefits as a bonus to their usual pay. This solution can be useful in helping retain developers that intend to pursue higher education by leaving their existing company.
Respecting Creative Efforts
Coding is a difficult task that often requires creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. However, some businesses may discourage their programmers from veering too far from the usual path, and this can lead to discontentment. Such coders are more likely to stay with their company if they are given free rein to perform their activities in their preferred manner.
How Outsourcing Can Help Businesses Suffering from Coder Shortages
Growing businesses that desperately require programmers during the current shortage can benefit by outsourcing coding tasks. This strategy is beneficial for the following reasons:
1. Having Access to the Coders You Need
While there may be a shortage of developers in certain countries. Other countries may have a surplus of coders who are ready to handle coding tasks for you. This means you will always have access to coders for different tasks if you choose to outsource your IT needs.
2. Finding Coders Who Are Fluent in Niche Languages
As mentioned earlier, some businesses may require programmers to be familiar with niche programming languages. If there is a shortage of local coders who are fluent in this language, it may be possible to find foreign coders for this purpose instead.
3. Access to a Flexible Workforce
Outsourcing your IT needs also comes with the added benefit of flexibility. You can request additional staff and resources when business picks up without actually having to recruit new employees yourself. This helps save the time and money you would normally spend on recruitment while having instant access to the resources you need.
How Hooligan Development Can Help Your Business
At Hooligan Development we are committed to providing DevOps on-demand. Our team is ready to assist you with deployment, cloud consulting, Kubernetes, software development, and digital consulting whenever you need it. Please contact us to learn more about our services.