Technological advancements paired with a population that continues to adopt innovative technology means one thing: an unparalleled demand for skilled software engineers. Software engineers are at the core of all major innovations. Whether there’s a new feature on your favorite social media medium or a tool that makes it possible for groceries to show up at your doorstep, a software engineer is responsible. Their determination and dedication to perfection is unmatched, and as a result, skilled software engineers are becoming increasingly hard to come by.
In this article, we’ll dive into the roles and responsibilities of software engineers while also covering the current hiring landscape. You’ll also learn how to combat the demand for software engineers through practices like promoting from within, providing competitive employee benefits, enhancing employer branding efforts, and learning to make non-traditional hires.
- What is a software engineer?
- The current demand for software engineers
- Why is the demand for software engineers high
- How to advance in your career as a software engineer
- The future demand for software engineers
- How to combat the demand for software engineers
What is a software engineer?
A software engineer or software developer is an engineer that specializes in designing and creating computer systems and applications that solve real-world problems. While computer programming is at the core of everything they do, software engineers often work on a variety of projects at once, spending their time-solving problems, writing code, attending engineering meetings, and collaborating with their colleagues. These skilled professionals are responsible for designing, building, iterating, testing, deploying, and maintaining software application products.
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The current demand for software engineers
As the world around us continues to embrace technological advancements, demand for software engineers continues to rise. Innovations continue to hit the market, and the tools that software engineers use to complete projects are becoming more complex, meaning organizations are now in need of multiple engineers as opposed to one or two. Where there once would have been a sole engineer working on a project, organizations are now employing entire engineering teams.
According to the California Business Journal, the global demand for software engineers is at an all-time high and demand isn’t set to slow down any time soon. In 2022 alone, demand has risen by 17% across all sectors and employers are continuing to offer competitive salaries in an attempt to source and retain top talent.
Why is the demand for software engineers high?
- There is a lower supply of software engineering talents
- There is a demand for innovative software
- Code has a limited lifespan
- There are more complex software development projects
- Businesses need to use multiple platforms
- There is accelerated growth in technology
1There is a lower supply of software engineering talents
There is presently a major gap between how many software engineers are seeking jobs and how many jobs are available. As a result, employers are having to get creative and remain competitive in their recruitment efforts.
2There is a demand for innovative software
Perpetual technological advancements lead to a soaring demand for innovative software. No matter what sector, companies are constantly trying to gain a competitive edge while offering consumers the best possible user experience—ultimately leading to never-before-seen innovations. These iterations and innovations would not be possible without skilled software engineers that are dedicated to their craft.
3Code has a limited lifespan
Code has a limited lifespan, so it constantly has to be updated or tweaked to fit the current status of a product. As a result, a software engineer’s job is never done. Unlike other roles where contributors are able to hand something off or complete a project that is then archived, software engineers are always revisiting, iterating, and making improvements to their projects.
4There are more complex software development projects
It’s no secret that software needs are continuing to increase in complexity. Projects that were once easily completed by a small team now require much more leg work. Software developers are arguably at the forefront of innovation and are largely responsible for initiating major technological advancements, meaning resources are always being expended and may fail to replenish.
5Businesses need to use multiple platforms
Exuding a strong online presence is imperative and businesses are increasingly choosing to adopt more than one platform in an attempt to win over customers. From developing websites to mobile apps with an endless list of plugins and functions, software engineers are constantly faced with a never-ending laundry list of technical tasks.
6There is accelerated growth in technology
Technology is always growing and evolving, and staying ahead of the curve is difficult. Not only are software engineers responsible for their daily duties and responsibilities, but they must also constantly have their thumb on the pulse, monitoring technological advancements and remaining relevant in the face of continuous technological advancements.
How to advance in your career as a software engineer
- Grow your soft skills
- Seek leadership knowledge and experience
- Gain experience at larger companies
- Improve your coding skills
1Grow your soft skills
No matter what industry you’re in, growing your soft skills is essential. Honing your soft skills will help you improve your ability to work with others, which may ultimately have a positive influence on your future career as a software engineer.
2Seek leadership knowledge and experience
While you may feel as though you can learn everything you need to know about software engineering on your own, the reality is that the knowledge you’ll gain by networking and learning from industry leaders is invaluable. Seeking leadership knowledge can be as simple as gaining insights from your manager during your one-on-one meetings or as complex as seeking a mentor through a third-party networking app like LinkedIn.
3Gain experience at larger companies
Working in startups or smaller environments provides you with a unique understanding of what it means to be lean and nimble in an engineering environment; however, the experience you will gain in a larger company will provide you with the foundational knowledge you need to progress in your engineering career.
4Improve your coding skills
If you want to advance in your career as a software engineer, you need to sharpen your coding skills. Sharpening your coding skills and broadening your horizons in terms of your proficient coding languages and skill sets will help open the door to more opportunities. While specializing in a niche has its benefits, rounding out your skill set is a great way to stand out amongst competing job seekers.
The future demand for software engineers
Software engineers are the new doctors or lawyers. While they may not be saving lives or transforming policy, they are in steady demand and will continue to be sought after and compensated accordingly. The need for skilled software engineers is at an all-time high and proves that software engineering will be a steady career path for years to come. As a result, employers must continue to offer competitive salaries and employee benefits to source and retain stellar engineering talent.
How to combat the demand for software engineers
- Promote from within
- Enhance employer branding efforts
- Improve employee benefits
- Make non-traditional hires
- Prioritize interdepartmental communications
1Promote from within
Promoting from within is one of the most powerful things you can do for your teammates. Not only does promoting from within demonstrate that you’re invested in your employees, but doing so also boosts morale and gives internal employees something to strive for. Promoting from within also provides you as the manager with the ability to shape your employees into the engineers you need them to be.
2Enhance employer branding efforts
Many organizations fail to realize the importance of branding when it comes to attracting top talent. While it’s important to exude professionalism and work on branding that attracts clients and business opportunities, it’s equally important to demonstrate to potential hires that your organization is an exciting and rewarding place to work.
3Improve employee benefits
Gone are the days of providing employees with the bare minimum. If your employees aren’t rewarded and treated as assets, they’ll go elsewhere. One of the easiest ways to retain top talent while demonstrating your gratitude is to provide your employees with competitive benefits.
4Make non-traditional hires
A competitive job market means it’s more important than ever to make creative hires. Whether this means hiring someone with an unconventional background or taking a chance on a junior engineer you can train, it’s important to be open-minded.
5Prioritize interdepartmental communications
Prioritizing interdepartmental communication is key for more than one reason. First, doing so will help you create a more positive work environment where information flows freely. Second, it will help all key stakeholders be on the same page when it comes to making a strategic hire.
Demand for software engineers is on the rise
In conclusion, it’s time to get creative in your hiring approach. If you fail to retain talent and aren’t open-minded when making new hires, you may find yourself operating with an extremely lean engineering team. Demand for software engineers is on the rise and there’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon.