State of Developers in 2022 and Beyond

Summary

  • The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it unprecedented disruptions to every industry and profoundly impacted how businesses connected with their employees, partners, and customers as companies of all shapes and sizes changed to remote-first environments and transformed in a matter of months instead of years.
  • 2022 has been a year of reflection and recovery, as the shifts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic become lasting changes in the ways all companies operate as they continue their hybrid work environment and digital first business strategies.
  • Software continues to eat the world as Marc Andreessen said in 2011 and a growing army of software developers lies behind the advances across industries as well as the digital strategies of all enterprises – these professionals continue to be the silent architects of our modern age!
  • Executives the world over are concerned about recruiting, onboarding, developing, and retaining their technical talent – to mitigate this concern, companies are building digital communities for their developers and recent research shows that 76% of developers say they turn to communities to get certain answers and collaborate with other developers.


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Introduction

In the past few years, we’ve all seen numerous and unparalleled changes and disturbances to just about everything related to business (and even personal) matters. Everything from how customers corresponded to what technology could do for us shifted to meet the constraints and precautions put in place to protect our health; and our preferences and way of working has adapted. Much has changed since 2020!

COVID-19 brought with it unprecedented disruptions to every industry. How businesses connected with their employees and customers transformed overnight. Companies changed to remote-first environments and transformed in a matter of months instead of years. Every company was innovating to move faster and adapt; now, urgent requests for new agile, remote collaboration features came in droves.

Conclusion

Much of this transformation was supported by the technical side of the business, including those who have been working remotely in an agile fashion since the days of “offshoring”. These digital-first responders moved workloads to the cloud and found new ways to collaborate, share, and work together from anywhere.

Many of the changes we saw were trends that were already underway for software development teams, but they accelerated during the turmoil caused by this most recent pandemic. 2022 has been a year of reflection and recovery, so it’s a good time to look back on these massive shifts and consider the lasting changes to companies as they continue with a hybrid work environment. It’s also an opportunity to consider how these changes affect the state of software development and how we can play a role in building a more resilient future together. Let’s take a look at how we can help support the global developer tribe amid high global demand, improve developer collaboration and productivity, and help teams continue to scale and support their companies at the highest level. In addition to this article, on can see our latest webinar, “The State of Developers: 2022 Edition”, on this topic here.

Developers are in High Demand

We all used to think of software companies as companies that made software. We conjured up images of software developers hard at work, building the next big app or digital platform. At the turn of the 21st century this was true, but even before the pandemic started, we realized that the idea of what constitutes a software company was different. Forbes published an article in 2011 entitled, “Now Every Company is a Software Company”, and the pandemic made this prophecy a stark reality for many companies who were dragging their feet.

Software used to be something that helped us get work done faster with spreadsheets and word processors. It was a productivity boost and a convenience for companies as they sought to get to market faster. Today software is in everything we do – keeping us safe on the road, telling us when to take our medicine, and even administering that medicine automatically for many. Gone are the days where software was a convenience It’s now a part of daily life for everyone.

An army of developers lies behind these advances facade, and they are the silent architects of our modern age. Even though we are graduating more developers each and every year, those new to the field amount to not nearly enough to meet demand. Research done by Ncube shows that of all STEM graduates, the USA has the biggest discrepancy between graduates and actual job openings – for every single 2022 graduate specializing in computing, there will be 3 job openings. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 5 job openings for every employed software developer. This leads to new and interesting ways to solve the developer shortage – everything from bootcamps to low-code environments… but it’s still not enough. There is fierce competition, and executives are looking for ways to get the most out of their developer talent by increasing productivity and collaboration while keeping engagement high. Otherwise, they fear that their companies will not continue to grow because they cannot keep up with the pace of innovation, digitization, and transformation.

Developer Productivity is top of mind

Executives the world over are concerned about their technical talent. According to Gartner, technology- and workforce-related issues are 2 of the top 3 key concerns for all executives in 2022, which they predict will continue through Many organizations struggle to hire and retain their technical talent, and digital skillsets continue to evolve rapidly as well. LinkedIn data shows more than 20% of hiring professionals say the skills they’re looking for now are different than they were before the pandemic.

For example, developers are taking on more responsibility as the “you build it, you run it” (YBIYRI) movement has emerged. Traditionally, developers built the software (i.e. build it) and the DevOps team deployed it and monitored it (i.e. run it). Atlassian published their first ever “State of Developer Report” and it shows that 60% of developers are working in YBIYRI environments. This means that they are now involved in a more traditional DevOps working state for at least part of their day. 65% of developers agree that this is a better way to run things, but admit that doing so puts even more on their plate, and also makes them more critical to ensuring that projects are completed and running smoothly. YBIYRI also takes time away from developing new products.

All things considered, you can see why executives are so concerned with the state of their developers. In order to attract and retain these critical team members, companies are building digital communities for their developers. As building and running software continues to be a complicated process, technical leaders and executives are more and more looking at communities for their productivity gains and employee engagement.

76% of developers say they turn to communities to get certain answers and collaborate with other developers. It’s no coincidence that developers who are active in communities like AnswerHub say that they have experienced reduced time to implementation (71%) and improved code quality (31%) according to the Evans Data. This is the exact solution that executives are deploying to increase their developer productivity and collaboration on their software teams! As a matter of fact, a recent Forrester report shows that the ROI of these developer communities is a staggering 191%! If you’re looking to improve your developer teams, give us a call. We’ll show you how to accelerate innovation, increase engagement, and get your team running like a well-oiled machine.

Conclusion

Developers were the driving force behind the changes and adaptations we’ve all seen and used since the 2020 pandemic began, and the demand for their skills will continue to be high. Their efficiency and productivity will remain one of the biggest interests of the companies for which they work – and if that company has a robust community in place, meeting and exceeding expectations will be better supported. Don’t forget to watch “The State of Developers: 2022 Edition” for more on this topic.

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