COVID-19, Impacts on the Global Software Engineering Workforce

COVID-19, Impacts on the Global Software Engineering Workforce-08

By: Julio Lopez

December 2, 2020

2020 has proven to be a momentous year for many reasons and not in a good way. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the global commercial landscape. Hospitality, automotive, and many service-based industries have borne the greatest brunt of the ensuing economic fallout.

However, all industries haven’t experienced the effects of the recession in the same way. The software engineering and development workforce spans across industries and has been affected uniquely by the ongoing pandemic.

In this blog post, we will shed light on how COVID-19 has impacted the software engineering workforce globally and within the US market by answering some critical questions.

Covid impacted Software Engineering

How Has COVID Impacted Software Engineering Across the Globe?

COVID-19 has negatively impacted almost all careers, and software engineering is no exception. However, a survey conducted by Career Explorer suggests that software engineers are faring better than other professionals. Among surveyed professionals across all industries and job titles, 20% of respondents have reported losing a job due to COVID-19.

Among the survey respondents, software engineers experienced a 5% job loss. Also, 48% of all the surveyed professionals showed concern about job security. On the other hand, only 31% of software engineers highlighted the issue of job security.

It is important to highlight here that the above software engineering job respondent data is taken from across the industrial spectrum. Engineers and developers working in different sectors may likely face contrasting situations. For instance, software engineers and developers working in the hospitality industry have to experience pay cuts and layoffs.

On the other hand, engineers and developers working on the security side have experienced growth. Their services and products have been in more demand in the last couple of months as workspaces worldwide have become more dependent on technology. In the US alone, the demand for cybersecurity professionals has surged by 65% since April.

How Have Developers Adjusted to Working Remotely

How Have Developers Adjusted to Working Remotely?

All those who keep a finger on the industry’s pulse are sensing that remote working will become a norm in software engineering and various other service-based work spheres. Contrary to what many people were initially expecting, most software engineering talent has effectively adapted to the work-from-home routine. Some tech industries have even experienced a productivity hike with their teams working remotely. 

These unexpected positive trends have pushed many software companies to continue with remote working regimen until a vaccine is fully available (that could still take up to a year). Some big tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Square are even thinking to go beyond and make it a permanent element of their work culture.

Experts believe that the prevalence of high-speed internet, easy availability of video conferencing tools, and digital project and task boards have ruled out most reasons for software engineers and developers to not work from home or any remote location.

What Have Been the Hiring Trends of Software Engineers in the Past 6 Months?

While software engineers and development experts are facing a lesser risk of layoffs, the hiring trend of these professionals hasn’t been encouraging for the last six months. This might be because companies are looking at more flexible staffing models and more inclined to use nearshore and offshore human resources. Indeed is one of the largest job hunting portals worldwide. It has mined the data on its listings to determine how different sectors and talent pools have been faring since the onset of COVID-19. Its report suggests that software development job listings have experienced over one-third decline in the last six months.

What Have Been the Hiring Trends of Software Engineers in the Past 6 Months

We think how tech giants have fared in the mainland US reflects the software engineers’ hiring trends in nearshore and overseas markets as well. The big five tech companies Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Netflix, have cut down their new software engineer postings. These companies have registered a 21%, 29%, 19%, 35%, and 33% decline respectively.

From the above figures, one can easily deduce that the hiring of the global engineering talent pool has been hit quite hard by the pandemic. However, some industries are still increasing their expenditure on software and development amid the cross-industry hiring decline. Instead of hiring full-time engineers, they are relying on third-party nearshore and overseas development teams.

What is Our Outlook on How the Global Software Engineering Market Will Look Like Moving into 2021?

COVID-19 has made it pretty challenging to devise an outlook and forecast what the future holds. However, the ongoing trends suggest that companies across the spectrum will remain cautious in hiring new developer talent moving into 2021. There will be exceptions. For instance, software developers working on security and communication products, ed-tech, and industries that support the digital transformation related to the increased work from home trends will continue to enjoy more demand from the collective talent pool.

Another trend that will keep on growing through the next year is outsourcing. NTT has published a global managed service report for the year 2020. It also talks about the trends for the next 18 months related to IT in general and software development in particular. The report includes an important survey conducted among over 1,200 executives across 29 countries. As per that survey, nearly 45% of companies will outsource software development work instead of taking on in-house IT challenges amid the uncertain times caused by the pandemic.

In short, less hiring and more outsourcing will remain the mantra for the global software engineering market in the next year. People who have just entered the software engineering talent pool have better prospects of getting a job in enterprises that offer third-party software development services to businesses in every industry and sector.

We think how tech giants have fared in the mainland US reflects the software engineers’ hiring trends in nearshore and overseas markets as well. The big five tech companies Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Netflix, have cut down their new software engineer postings. These companies have registered a 21%, 29%, 19%, 35%, and 33% decline respectively.

From the above figures, one can easily deduce that the hiring of the global engineering talent pool has been hit quite hard by the pandemic. However, some industries are still increasing their expenditure on software and development amid the cross-industry hiring decline. Instead of hiring full-time engineers, they are relying on third-party nearshore and overseas development teams.

For more information talk to us today or follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for news, updates, and discussions with industry professionals.  #sonatafytechnology #covid19 #impacts #software #engineering

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