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January 12, 2022

Developer recruitment to bounce back in 2022, squeezing supply

Employers expect to make up for pandemic-driven hiring freezes this year, according to a new global survey, but will struggle to fill new roles.

By Afiq Fitri

Software developer recruitment is set to accelerate in 2022 as companies make up for pandemic-related hiring freezes and restructuring, according to a new global survey of 4,000 recruiters and 14,000 developers by digital skills platform CodinGame. As a result, employers expect to struggle to fill both widespread roles such as full-stack engineers and more specialists positions, such as DevOps and machine learning specialists.

Software developer recruitment in 2022

The majority of recruiters (65%) surveyed expect to hire at least 11 developers in 2022, with 22% planning to hire more than 100. And recruitment is accelerating, CodinGame reports: the proportion hiring between 201 and 500 developers has more than doubled since last year, while those looking to hire more than 500 have increased 50%. This growth “reflects the need to make up for pandemic-related hiring freezes or restructuring,” the company says.

Just over half of recruiters (53%) report that their budget for developer salaries has increased for 2022. However, they may not get much more for their money, as a number of respondents have encountered growing salary demands from candidates, CodinGame says. The average salary among UK developers surveyed is around £50,000 ($68,664), placing the country fourth behind the US, Switzerland and Canada.

The move to remote work, allowing developers from around the world to fill developer roles, will likely lift global salaries this year, CodinGame predicts. "We expect to see a wage increase in future surveys as recruiters widen their talent pool," the company says.

In-demand skills for developers in 2022

Employers' ability to fill their new developer roles will also be challenged by the supply of in-demand skills. Recruiters identified full-stack developer/engineer and back-end developer/engineer as the two roles they expect to struggle to fill the most. This is in spite of the fact that these are already widespread positions, accounting for 27% and 17% of developers who responded to the survey.

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In third place were DevOps roles, which 28% of recruiters expect to struggle to fill this year. Unlike the full stack and back-end developer positions, only 2% of developers surveyed are currently working in DevOps teams.

One reason for recruiters to be optimistic, however, is the degree of alignment between the skills they want to hire and those that developers want to learn. For example, 30% of recruiters are seeking to hire AI, machine learning and deep learning skills, while 40% of developers are keen to acquire such skills. Thirty-eight per cent of recruiters are looking for DevOps skills, while a quarter of developers warn to learn DevOps.

Most in-demand programming languages in 2022

The supply and demand for specific coding languages are similarly aligned, the survey reveals. Javascript, Java and Python are the three most in-demand languages among recruiters, and the most prevalent among developers. This alignment "shows developers are aware of market demand and learn languages to meet them," CodinGame says.

For most languages included in the study, supply outstrips demand but there are a few exceptions. These include Go, an open source programming language developed by Google, and – by a whisker – Kotlin, a language designed to interoperate with Java but with a more concise syntax.

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