Use These 4 Tips to Attract and Retain Software Developers
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It’s no secret that the way of doing business has changed dramatically over the past few years. Pervasive digital transformation has forced businesses in all industries to recognize the value of the people who are building our new digital world: software developers.
As many tech companies grapple with layoffs and hiring freezes, data shows demand for developers has never been higher, with thousands of new developer positions opening up every day. In the wake of the Great Resignation, we are seeing a shortage of developers unable to keep up with the skyrocketing demand. And unfortunately, the gap shows no signs of closing.
DigitalOcean recently surveyed over 2,500 developers around the world about their work environments, job satisfaction, and biggest challenges they face at work. What we discovered should concern any business leader trying to keep up in the digital world. More than 25% of experienced developers (those who have been in the job market for more than a year) have started a new job in the last year, and 42% of those who haven’t plan to do so. TO DO. In other words, developers are leaving their jobs at a rate that’s almost double the overall average.
To ensure your organization isn’t hit with resignations, it’s important for technology leaders to rethink their strategies for recruiting and retaining developers and technical staff. Here are four recommendations below:
Related: IT demand is here to stay
1. When it comes to working environments, developers are looking for flexibility
Our latest Currents survey shows that compensation and preference for flexible and/or remote work environments are among the top reasons developers are considering or have changed employers. It’s fair to wonder if tech giants like Tesla, Meta, Salesforce, Apple, Google and others have shot themselves in the foot with their rigid and sometimes controversial back-to-office plans.
DigitalOcean has long had a flexible working policy, with more than half of our employees working remotely before the pandemic hit. We are now fully remote and provide access to a coworking space for anyone who wants it. Based on our low attrition rate, this approach has proven attractive to our team and especially those with deep technical skills.
The developers are independent and digital native people. Whether it’s fully remote, hybrid or fully in-desk, the important thing is to first listen to developers’ needs and then offer them the freedom to choose the work environment that works best for them.
Related: The top employee retention advice for tech companies
2. Developers care about the community – and you should too
The developer community is as diverse as the companies they support and is made up of some of the smartest technical minds in the world. This community, as diverse as it is, finds open source projects a place where they can gather, collaborate, and contribute. However, few companies offer their developers the time or compensation to contribute to these projects, despite the fact that 64% of companies use this code for more than half of their software.
It’s increasingly important to listen to what’s important to the needs and wants of your staff. While you may not be able to meet every wish list, listening will help you build trust with your employees and, as a bonus, you can identify opportunities for your business. Giving developers time to contribute to projects they care about (like open source) during the clock can show you what’s valuable to them and also help strengthen your tech stack.
Related: Why Low-Code Platforms Are The Developer Shortage Solution People Don’t Talk About
3. Boost career growth and lifelong learning with the right resources
Developers are known to be lifelong learners, and their role has evolved significantly in recent years. They are constantly learning new skills and programming languages, and adopting cutting-edge technologies and methodologies, all in the name of keeping pace with innovation. Companies need to ensure developers have the educational resources, courses, training, tutorials, and mentorship to keep their skills up to date.
This is true not only for career developers, but also for people who are new to the field. The hot developer job market has opened a door to the next generation of developers — many of whom are self-taught, from an entirely different field, or from non-traditional educational backgrounds like coding boot camps — who can do facing a steep learning curve.
It makes sense for business leaders to invest in their people, especially in technical areas. The opportunity for ongoing training and requalification will be attractive to any developer candidate.
4. Remove Complexity From Developer Workflow
Another common grievance from developers is lack of time and resources to work on projects. This challenge is likely due to time spent on more menial tasks like code cleanup and documentation creation.
Arming developers with a simplified toolkit takes the manual labor away from them. This helps developers build faster and also allows them to spend time on creative and strategic work that really impacts the business.
Software developers are a unique group of people who have long been victims of many stereotypes in the corporate world. Now is the time for businesses to reverse these biases to better understand this group and what they need to succeed – survival in the digital age depends on it.