Companies everywhere are finding themselves in desperate need of competent, qualified software engineers who can help them remain relevant and efficient for years to come. As many leaders of these companies are discovering, however, attracting excellent software engineers to your team is easier said than done. Indeed, there’s a massive shortage of software engineers across a wide number of industries right now.
Here’s an analysis of the ongoing shortage of competent IT experts, and how companies, universities, and other actors can come together to meet the demand for software engineers.
1. The shortage is caused by growth.
If there’s an easy way to describe why businesses, universities, and other institutions are suffering from a shortage of IT workers right now, it’s that recent explosive growth has made it almost impossible to find enough talented workers. Companies everywhere are digitizing in general and embracing software in particular, a trend that requires savvy software engineers who can help these businesses develop or acquire good software in an affordable manner. What businesses everywhere have discovered, however, is that these software engineers are in high demand and thus gravitate to those positions with the best salaries and most competitive benefits packages.
The software engineering problem is also much more complicated than a simple lack of professionals. It’s also worsened by a lack of qualified professionals, as many individuals lack the certification or experience they need to become viable candidates for many of the open positions available right now. 2018’s shortage of software engineers illustrates that this shortage is about quality as well as quantity.
Once business owners understand this, they’ll realize that they need to offer competitive benefits packages and high salaries to good software engineers if they want them to join their teams and stick around for a while. Universities, too, are finding that software engineers don’t want to stick around for long unless they’re well-compensated. There are a number of ways to lure in software engineers, beginning with improving your brand image and ending with making non-traditional hires that could pay off in the long-term.
Related to that last point about non-traditional hires is the shortage of diversity when it comes to today’s software engineer cohorts. Discrimination and bigotry in the world of tech and the broader commercial marketplace have led to a shortage of qualified software engineers by turning some talented youngsters away from the field, for instance.
2. We need more diverse engineers.
The best way to meet the demand for software engineers, which is sure to keep on growing as time goes on, is to embrace diversity in the field of software engineering. This means that women, people of color, low-income individuals, and others who have been historically denied not only software engineering positions but also training and educational opportunities must be welcomed into the fold. More than a mere buzzword, diversity delivers results when it becomes an integral facet of a company or university’s policy.
This means that those individuals interested in starting an enterprise software development company should be aware that a diverse workforce is going to be needed if you want to be capable of meeting the staggeringly high demand for software engineers. Female developers have already done plenty of work teaching the rest of us about how to hire more women in the field, and that begins with fostering a more tolerant and welcoming atmosphere that anybody can feel comfortable in.
Beginning with job descriptions and titles and moving on to workplace toxicity before finally arriving at fair compensation, there are many ways that today’s software engineering firms and commercial enterprises could be doing more to welcome women into the field. Young students, in general, should be more familiar with computer science before they graduate and enter the workforce. Those from impoverished backgrounds who lack the technical resources to become software engineers must be offered means by which to educate themselves and become the engineers of tomorrow.
Meeting the intense demand for software engineers won’t be easy, but companies, colleges, and social movements across the country can surely come together to ensure that it happens. By beginning with better compensation packages that entice more people to the field and focusing extensively on diversifying future generations of software engineers, we can take positive steps right now that will ensure software engineering in the future is more efficient than ever before.