How to Deal With Software Engineer Shortage?

Trung Tran

Trung Tran | 09/12/2021

Software Engineer Shortage

The software engineer shortage is a global issue that has been with us for the past few years. It is estimated to get worse in 2023, which means more companies will have to find new ways of attracting talent. One strategy could be offering competitive salaries and benefits packages. However, employers need to do more than just that to solve the problem in the long run. In this blog, we go through an overview of the talent shortage and outline some of the most popular solutions for how to deal with it.

What Is Software Engineer Shortage?

The software developer shortage refers to the predicted lack of qualified talent to fill the demand for jobs in the technology industry. There are many reasons, including high demand and low supply of workers, changing technology that requires new skills, and an aging tech workforce. In addition, experts have posited that this shortage may grow considerably in 2023 and beyond due to a lack of interest in tech careers among computer science students.

The software engineering community has been abuzz recently over the question of whether or not we’re heading towards a “software developer shortage” each year. The debate keeps raging on. Many technologists think a shortfall is inevitable, while others remain unsure about that.

What Are the Causes of the Shortage of Software Engineers?

Businesses need software engineers more than ever before as they automatize more and more of their business processes. There can be multiple reasons for the shortage of software developers, but here are the two primary ones for this problem. Firstly, the demand for qualified candidates is very high due to the rapid growth of technologies, causing companies to compete over scarce resources. Secondly, there is a lack of skilled and experienced software developers.

High Demand for Software Developers

The main reason for the software engineering shortage is the high demand for these professionals. While student enrollment in computer science degree programs has steadily increased, there are still fewer graduates than available jobs, and the demand for software developers is still rising. In addition, with technology becoming more and more important in our lives, companies are desperate to find talented software engineers who can help them stay competitive.

This high demand has also led to a lot of competition for software engineering recruitment, and it’s becoming even more difficult for companies to find qualified candidates. As a result, many firms are offering higher salaries and better benefits to attract the best talents.

Lack of Skilled and Experienced Software Developers

Another possible reason for the shortage of qualified software engineers is that there may not be enough skilled and experienced developers to fill all available positions. There aren’t many eligible graduates in this field, and finding a highly-skilled developer who has experience in the industry can also be challenging.

In the past, businesses hired young graduates from computer science programs with little work experience and trained them on the job. They also sponsored internships that gave students a chance to work in companies during the summer. Nowadays, employees of all expertise are expected to have at least several years of experience before they are hired.

This means that most companies have to hire junior developers and train them on the job, which is more expensive and time-consuming than hiring experienced professionals who can be effective from the first day.

Common Challenges Companies May Encounter Due to The Shortage of Software Developers

The most significant consequence is the loss of time and money. Because companies have to fill open positions quickly, they often hire people who are not as talented as they’d like them to be, which means these new employees take longer to learn on the job and make more mistakes. It also takes more training for managers and leaders. The shortages also affect the turnover rate of companies because talented developers can change jobs easier than others.

Another big problem that the shortage creates is that it drives up salaries to attract new talent, which causes higher costs for companies and consumers alike. This also makes the gap between employees wider since those who are more experienced tend to be paid more.

Here are some other possible challenges of talent shortage:

  • You get stuck with less-than-ideal employees. The people you hire might not be competent enough to do the job correctly, but it’s harder for you to fire them because of the lack of available talent.
  • You lose money while spending more than you would like on new hires. It takes time and money to train your new employees and to fill the gaps they have.
  • You are less profitable. That’s because increased salaries lead to increased costs, which results in higher prices for consumers. More money goes into advertising since talented developers can switch jobs easier.
  • Businesses sometimes fail due to not filling open positions fast enough. This could be related to having less profit when they need to spend more money on hiring employees.
  • Your competitors get ahead of you because they have better talent. They can charge lower prices for their products and services since the only difference is the quality of the product or service, not who provides it. With the software developer shortage, your competitors will gain an edge over you.
  • You can’t get the workers you need for your software development projects. When you have less manpower, it’s harder to get work done on time and with high-quality standards. The probability of incurring delays or mess-ups increases tremendously due to this reason.

Therefore, you’d better think about how to deal with software engineer shortages. You can set up a pool of talented employees that will change and develop your company. If you think that there is no chance to deal with this issue, consider reaching out to software outsourcing companies.

9 Useful Tactics to Deal With the Talent Shortage

There is a possibility of a software engineer shortage by 2023. The question is, how do we handle this? Unfortunately, there will be no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to deal with a talent shortage may vary depending on the specific situation. However, some tips on how to deal with this shortage include:

  • Utilize Remote Workers

    As more and more companies turn towards a mobile workforce, engineers can be anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. In many cases, there will be some talented individuals living outside of your company's home country who would love to work for a company like yours - and can help you out by bringing new ideas and approaches with them. Therefore, one of the most common solutions to talent shortage is hiring offshore development services that provide you with a remote team of IT experts. This may involve additional costs and paperwork but can help to address the shortage of skilled labor.

  • Increase the Current Salary

    As engineering roles across the board become harder to fill, it is becoming clear that engineers are in a very lucrative position. This is the most obvious solution to increasing production, but it is also likely unpopular among companies who already have a tight budget.

  • Promote STEM Education for Students

    In order to increase engineering talent at a young age, schools need to promote STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education by starting to teach computer science courses earlier on in education. This will enable students to take advantage of these courses and hopefully enter into the engineering workforce at a higher rate.

  • Offer More Internships

    Creating opportunities for younger students can be hard, especially in countries where education is expensive. Internships allow companies to take on young talent at little cost while still gaining the ability to train these students to fit their needs. With this solution, we can cultivate the next generation of experienced IT workers in the long run.

  • Train Workers Already in the Workforce

    Although this may seem counterproductive, companies can increase their engineering output by bringing their current workforce up to the speed of the newest technologies and practices. This is especially important for businesses that manage large amounts of data or require strict security protocols. In brief, it can be beneficial for workers and employers if all employees have the opportunity to study new skills throughout their careers.

  • Improve Cultural Diversity in Engineering Roles

    Though this is an issue for many industries, increasing the diversity of engineering teams allows companies to build better products that solve more problems. In fact, most organizations, which have engineers who are culturally different and come from different professional backgrounds, will be able to expand their ability to produce better products quickly.

  • Leverage the Latest Technologies to Automate Certain Tasks & Increase Flexibility

    Many physical and manual tasks can be automated with modern technologies, which can help your company save money while still achieving maximum productivity. Increase the automation of software testing and technical aspects of app stores so that less coding/testing work is required for each release. That will open more opportunities for developers who are "5 in hand" (that can code and do testing) than "9 in hand" (who also know QA and DevOps). Furthermore, many companies realize that allowing employees to work from home or other remote locations can help them find and keep talented workers while also saving money on real estate costs and increasing productivity through fewer distractions and interruptions.

  • Increase Marketing Efforts

    Some companies have started using marketing as a way to solve their engineering shortfalls. Targeted advertising is effective at reaching specific engineers and convincing them that the company for which they work is worth the applications they receive.


How to Deal With Software Engineer Shortage? conclusion

The future is unsure, but the software engineer shortage is real. There are not enough qualified engineering talents to fill the demand for this position in an increasingly digital world, which means companies looking for new tech talent will need to be creative and innovative when finding ways to attract candidates. Therefore, through this article, we expect to help businesses of all sizes prepare for the global talent shortage that may occur unexpectedly over the next decade. With these useful tactics, you can handle the talent shortages properly and may even solve the problem in the long run.

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