Demand for Software Developers High Despite Cloudy Economic Outlook

Despite recent tech layoffs, there continues to be a demand for software developers, enabling them to feel confident in their careers and optimistic about their ability to find a new role.

These were among the results of CoderPad’s global State of Tech Hiring in 2023 survey of more than 14,000 software developers and technical recruiters.

Nearly three-quarters of developers said they feel confident in their jobs, which includes a third of respondents who said they feel even more secure than last year.

In addition, more than two-thirds of survey respondents said they have received a pay raise in the past 12 months.

Related: Programmer vs. Developer vs. Engineer: What’s the Difference?

Demand for Software Developers Gives Them Options

CoderPad CEO Amanda Richardson said she was surprised by how many developers are looking to change roles this year.

“I understand why — priorities have changed for some, and salaries are a top priority again,” she said. “But to hear that more than half of developers surveyed expect to change jobs is a big number.”

In fact, employee departures continue to plague the workforce, according to a recent Harris Poll survey of US hiring managers.

There is still a massive shortage of developers, and while demand for developer talent has declined year over year, the gap between supply and demand continues to exist, Richardson said.

“Developers — especially good ones — know their worth in the market and aren’t shaking at the negative headlines being published about layoffs and slowdowns,” she added. “And ultimately, every company is becoming a tech company in some ways, which only increases the demand for developers.”

Related: 5 Software Development Trends to Watch in 2023

If it’s all about salary, the data in this survey shows that changing companies is the best way to get more money.

Forty percent of developers who changed jobs and got a raise last year got a salary increase of 25% or more, while the majority of developers who had a raise at the same job saw an increase of under 5%.

But Richardson advises developers to remember there is more to compensation than just money.

“Our survey shows the importance of remote work — up to five spots since last year — which is also a consideration when taking a new role,” she explained. “So, I would advise developers to make the most out of compensation by ensuring they’re getting the package that is best for them — not just the most money.”

Developers Want Flexibility, Higher Salaries

Overall, Richardson said, what developers want are money and flexibility, and that’s something potential employers need to consider, adding that remote work is now part of developer expectations.

“Beyond that, employers need to figure out how to communicate why their company is better than the rest,” she said. “What about the culture makes it unique? What about the impact of the work is more attractive? What is the mission that will motivate developers to be focused and energized day in and day out?”

Developers Optimistic About 2023

With economic uncertainty still high, unique job postings for developers have been trending downward since a peak in March of 2022, Richardson explained, but said she still feels there’s reason for optimism in 2023 for developers looking for rewarding employment opportunities.

“Hiring is only forecast to be down slightly from last year, with half of recruiters saying they plan to hire at least 10 developers this year, versus 62% last year,” she said.

Meanwhile, 81% of recruiters reported that they have flat or larger budgets versus last year.

“While there may be uncertainty in headlines, the underlying data reflects continued strength and investment in developer recruiting,” Richardson said.

While some layoffs have dampened bargaining power slightly, IT hiring prospects for 2023 are still robust — the tech industry created 193,000 jobs in 2022, and there are currently 317,000 open job listings for technology roles, according to Forrester Research.

About the author

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for ITPro Today. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin.

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