Software development can be a lucrative career path, as well as one which offers excellent opportunities for people who want to work in lots of parts of the country and the world, or even perform their role entirely remotely.
So why is it that there is a shortage of skilled professionals in this sphere? The deficit of developers is a real drag for employers, and so obviously it’s something that needs to be addressed.
Let’s look at a few solutions that could steer us toward a brighter future where there’s a developer for every open position.
It all starts with education
First and foremost it’s crucial that coding is introduced as early as possible in the general curriculum, ensuring that kids are made familiar with the ins and outs of mainstream programming languages alongside the other skills that are already considered essential.
The challenge of how to learn coding is harder to overcome the older you are, and much headway has been made to implement software development in education over the past few years.
Likewise it is important that the courses, schools and institutions which offer coding training already are given the required funding they need both to serve their students well, and to market themselves to a wider audience.
A combination of familiarity with coding and an awareness of what prospects are out there will ensure that a new generation of developers is ready to step into the jobs that are waiting for them.
Low-code platforms provide a new way forward
The long term solution of overhauling how coding is taught is all well and good, but what about strategies that can be implemented today to minimize the downsides of the developer shortage?
One option is to make the switch to development platforms that are low-code by design, meaning that they do not require expert-level knowledge of coding to allow users to make use of them.
Low-code platforms are perfect for a job market in which there are already plenty of people with technical skills and capabilities, making them suitable for transferring these to development fairly swiftly.
An understanding of SQL, for example, is a powerful skill for those in jobs which are not strictly development-related, but may require the deployment of data manipulation knowledge from time to time.
In this sense, low-code solutions aren’t just about streamlining duties for full-on developers, but also about catalyzing collaboration between colleagues in entirely different departments and disciplines.
Specialization has to be identified and catered to
While low-code development environments are fine for certain projects, others are unavoidably in need of experts who know the programming language in question inside out.
This is where it pays to look at the supply and demand of developers right now, and identify if there are any obvious underserved elements.
In the case of programming languages which are less widely used but nevertheless important for particular purposes, such as Scala, developer jobs which require them are surprisingly widespread, yet the number of eligible candidates is vanishingly small.
Analysts and industry commentators feel that more needs to be done to delve into the data on this issue and plot out the shape of the shortage, rather than just throwing money and resources into it and hoping for the best.
Remote work is a must
Lastly it’s worth restating the fact that now that remote work has become the norm, hiring developers is less dependent on the geographic location of the business in question.
You don’t need to be based in Silicon Valley to attract the top talent, as many developers are happy to work remotely, or even actively in favor of roles that afford them this opportunity.
Thus there is a multipronged approach to fixing the developer shortage; it is just necessary for a collective effort to be made to embrace it.