For software developers, adaptability is the key to a successful career. The IT job market is constantly changing, whether due to emerging technologies, economic and environmental factors, or a combination of the three. Software developers who adapt quickly to changing IT labor market demands, such as learning new skills, earning certifications, or adjusting salary expectations, tend to fare better than those who don’t. do not.
One thing that remains stable is that developers are in high demand across many different industries. Let’s take a look at what developers in the job market can expect right now.
Developers are always in high demand
“The job market for software developers is really healthy in terms of demand for those with the skills,” says Christy Schumann, senior vice president of talent operations at Toptal, which operates an exclusive network of freelance software developers. , designers, product managers, and other professionals for hire.
“As businesses and consumers continue to embrace technology for almost everything we do, developers and aspiring developers have a great opportunity to develop successful careers right now,” Schumann says.
Recruitment firm Robert Half characterizes hiring trends for developers as still moderate to fairly strong. “The market remains rather competitive and finding the best talent remains a challenge”, explains Jason Deneu, regional director of the firm.
Front-end and back-end web developers are in high demand, Deneu says, as are developers with a background in cloud-related technologies. “Data engineers are also always in the ‘hot zone’ for hiring needs,” he says. “These roles offer the best prospects based on customer feedback, for months to come.”
Another job site, ZipRecruiter, says developer job postings peaked in May 2022 and have since fallen, but are still well above pre-Covid levels. “It’s likely because employment in the tech industry has increased overall since the pandemic, spurred by the increased digitization of work, leisure, education, entertainment and exercise,” says Julia Pollak. , the company’s chief economist.
In July 2022, the most in-demand developer skills were in Java, web, and full-stack development. “The same was true before the pandemic in 2020 and continued through 2021 as well,” says Pollak. “These skills are and will likely remain in high demand, as they are most widely applicable to business.”
Top Hiring Technologies and Trends
While Toptal sees a hiring freeze at some of the major tech companies, the need for a variety of talented developers continues to grow steadily, Schumann says. “The growing adoption of remote work and the popularity of freelancing offers developers the opportunity to gain a diversity of experience and the ability to work on their own terms rather than sticking to a more traditional full-time job. “, she says.
“Most requested [professionals] are regularly those who master several technological skills,” says Schumann. “Mobile programming like Android and iOS; cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform; and software like Salesforce, Shopify, and WordPress are in-demand and hireable skills. But people with skills and experience in more than one of these areas are in high demand, she says.
Don’t forget about collaboration and communication
Toptal also finds that soft skills are essential for its clients who hire developers. “Having developers expert in team collaboration, obstacle management, and the ability to understand the business case of the ongoing project has become invaluable to our clients,” says Schumann.
The main prerequisite in the tech industry, after software skills, is having great communication skills, Pollak says. “Not only is this crucial for highly technical tasks, but it’s also true for global business operations,” she says. “If this is an area for you to improve, consider taking a business communication course at a local community college or explore the many continuing education programs available.”
A developer’s perspective on the IT job market
“The global job market for developers has been and still is hot,” says Jason Moore, full-stack developer at Aras. Moore has been a developer for over 20 years.
“I’m approached almost daily on sites like LinkedIn and by email about potential new job opportunities,” Moore says. “Because I have a range of technical and soft skills that I have developed over the years, I can confidently say that my skills are always in demand, especially as I am continually learning and improving my fundamental communication skills. , analytics and technology.”
Among the job offers Moore receives are those for senior-level development positions in a variety of industries. The new skills and abilities required depend on the type of job, Moore says.
“Some positions, but not all, require you to be more hands-on with code, architecturally savvy, or require project manager experience to climb those ladders,” Moore says. “Perhaps the biggest change I’ve seen compared to 20 years ago is that there is no technical and strategic personnel manager. Teams operate leaner and more agile. You must be able to both get the job done and delegate technical work appropriately if management is your aspiration. »
A look at cybersecurity and devsecops
Robert Half sees no “shattering” change in the developer market, says Deneu. “But there has been increased interest in security-based roles over the past year and we see that continuing,” he says. This includes IT auditing and cybersecurity for the web, internal systems and networks.
The continued focus on strong cybersecurity will undoubtedly lead to an increased need for people who can develop security tools and ensure other software is secure before release. The rise of the devsecops model, in which security is included in all phases of the development cycle, shows how important security has become to development processes.
Security software developers combine technical programming knowledge with product development and security skills, and must be up-to-date on the latest threats and vulnerabilities.
How to Get Hired as a Software Developer
Although experienced developers should have no trouble landing good jobs, given the demand, software developers can take steps to be even more attractive in the market and adapt to the changes taking place.
A good practice is to constantly look for opportunities to update existing skills or learn entirely new skills. As Schumann notes, while demand is high for developers in general, those who can offer multiple skills are more likely to get the job.
Given the ongoing transition to the cloud, it’s a good idea to hone your skills related to cloud services and tools.
“The cloud is a big factor today and will be in the future,” says Deneu. “Any developer should have a solid grasp of cloud-based technologies to pursue a smooth transition. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box in terms of learning new and emerging technologies. Be proactive in self-learning.
It’s also a good idea to update your CV as regularly as possible. “Research best practices for optimizing your resume and the best ways to display your work samples,” says Schumann. “For example, can you show how your contributions to a recent project had a measurable impact on a business outcome? »
Most employers use applicant tracking systems to analyze resumes, Pollak says. “A simple pattern works best for getting noticed,” she says. “No need for headers, columns or text boxes.”
Especially for complex developer roles, “be sure to be as specific as possible when listing any training or certifications you’ve received on your resume,” says Pollak. “While some have only taken one technical course to acquire a given skill, you can have years of experience. Consider listing the years of experience related to each skill to help you stand out.
It’s also important to keep your code samples and public works up-to-date through GitHub or another code-sharing platform, says Deneu. “Potential employers look at your portfolio.”
The industry is changing at such a rapid pace that potential employers want to see that candidates are familiar with the latest language developments and have relevant, recent experience.
“Attend or participate in conferences or events specific to your field to get a sense of how it is changing,” Schumann says. “While not everything showcased at these events will come to fruition, it will show the direction the industries are heading and help you determine how best to position yourself to successfully seize these opportunities.”
To stand out for potential jobs, Schumann says, developers need to clearly articulate the tough problems they’ve personally solved and the impact. “But stick to the facts and avoid excessive embellishments,” she says. “Support your achievements with specific data.
Additionally, it’s good for professionals to have a variety of endorsements on their LinkedIn profiles, from peers and managers who can validate their skills.
“Think of your LinkedIn profile as your business card and include your most up-to-date contact information and interests,” says Schumann. “If you’re open to new opportunities, enable this feature in LinkedIn and be specific about the types of opportunities you’re looking for,” especially if you’re open to remote roles or relocation.
For developers like Moore, the key to success is the ability to keep learning and adapting. “My advice for people trying to navigate the fast-paced developer field is to always stay curious to learn, be on the cutting edge of technology – don’t ‘marry’ with one technology – and ‘obtain the certifications that make sense for your chosen career path.’
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