2023 was a wild year for software developers. Layoffs and tech hiring slowdowns created a sense of economic uncertainty, while AI’s sudden leap to mainstream use is already disrupting how developers write code and how companies think about their skills strategies. After such major upheaval, it’s only natural to ask – what the heck is going on?
We explore that question in our 2024 Developer Skills Report. As the leader in evaluating developer skills, we leveraged original platform data and survey responses to observe what’s really happening in tech hiring and skills.
The end of 2022 and the first half of 2023 were dicey in the hiring market, and tech in particular.
However from July 2023 forward, we’ve seen several signals that things may be heading in a more positive direction. New test creations are up 58% and test invites are up 86% since July 2023.
Despite these positive signals, concerns about layoffs or a recession still linger.
52% of developers remain concerned about layoffs. Generally, developers are less vulnerable to layoffs compared to other disciplines, but there is plenty of anecdotal data from friends, coworkers, and social feeds to stoke anxieties regardless.
Similarly, nearly half of developers feel their industry is in a recession. Fortunately, though, 68% of developers think conditions will be better in 2024.
AI Goes Mainstream
AI has already become a staple in tech roles, altering work methodologies and skill strategies. The increase in AI-focused skill assessments signals organizations are rapidly seeking technical talent with this skill set.
Developer Perceptions vs. Management Views
A significant gap exists between what developers value and what executives, managers, and recruiters believe they value. This disparity extends to perceptions about job security, opportunities, and the effectiveness of upskilling programs.
Skills Verification Is Vital to Hiring and Upskilling Initiatives
Assessing technical skills – and having confidence in your findings – is critical for any company to hire, upskill, and promote their developers. But developers don’t sense their organizations have an accurate understanding of their existing skills. Neither developers or management feel a 4 year college degree prepares them adequately for today’s workforce.
Developers are opportunity-minded
In the current economic climate, managers, leaders, and recruiters all say developers value security more than opportunity, by about 40% to 33%.
Developers disagree. 44% to 27%, developers place more importance on opportunity.
Don’t get complacent. Developers aren’t hunkered down, grateful just to have a job. They will move on if the right opportunity presents itself.
For more on these and other findings, check out our 2024 Developer Skills Report.