Demand for software developers doubled in 2021


Demand for software engineers doubled in 2021, as the pandemic exacerbated a growing talent crunch, according to the latest “State of Software Engineers” report by tech hiring specialist Hired.

Hired tracked 224,367 interview requests for software engineering roles in 2021, up from 106,101 in the heavily pandemic-impacted 2020.

The report is based on Hired’s 366,000 platform interactions between companies and software engineers, and 2,000 survey responses collected between January 2020 through December 2021, inclusive.

“Amid the ongoing tech talent shortage and record-high demands from companies eager to fill open roles, software engineers on Hired received more than twice the amount of interview requests on average in 2021 than they did in 2020,” Hired CEO Josh Brenner wrote in his foreword for the report. “This competitive hiring market continues to put pressure on companies to offer compelling salaries and benefits and extend their talent search to hire remote software engineers outside of big tech hubs, expanding and distributing teams globally.”

Remote development work on the rise

Unsurprisingly, remote hiring also shot up during 2021, with software engineers receiving more interview requests for remote roles (98,846) in 2021 than for local positions (92,383) in 2020. Developers open to remote work also received 20% more interview requests than those who were not, on average.

On the employee side, flexibility around work hours was the most cited factor towards the ideal working culture for software engineers, followed by limiting meetings as much as possible, and having great coworkers and managers.

The most in-demand role on the platform was for full stack developers. “Companies have been more aggressively hiring full stack engineers in 2021. Our data revealed full stack engineers showed the highest increase of 2.1% (when comparing 2021 to 2020) in interview requests compared to other software engineering roles,” the report notes, putting the increase down to an attempt to “maximize an engineering team’s efficiency and create redundancy to handle team fluctuations.”

This increase in overall demand has seen average salaries continue to grow too, including for remote roles and positions in smaller tech hubs. Software engineering salaries rose by 0.8% to average $156,000 in the United States in 2021. That came in below the average salary for remote roles, at $157,000, which was up 3%. And salaries in the UK rose by 2.7% to £75,000 ($98,000).

Key software developer skills in 2022

Hired’s report also surfaced some software development skills which are driving the most interview interest from employers.

The programming language Go topped the list of in-demand skills for the second year running, with engineers proficient in Go receiving 1.8 times more interview requests compared to the marketplace average.

Just behind Go were Ruby on Rails, Scala, Ruby, and React Native, showing a bias toward front-end skills on Hired’s platform.

Cloud skills like Kubernetes, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform proficiency were lower down the list. Engineers boasting these skills saw around 1.3 times more interview requests than the average.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.


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