CODINGAME & CODERPAD TECH HIRING SURVEY 2022
About this report
If you judge by the headlines, 2022 was a volatile year for the tech industry, with high profile layoffs and plunging stocks. And yet, developers and engineers remain some of the most in-demand professionals on the job market.
Over the past six years, CodinGame and CoderPad have collected over 65,000 survey responses from our community of developers and technical recruiters to get their perspective on their work and hiring activities. We’ve learned all about their priorities, challenges, and preferences—and how they’ve evolved over time.
This year we again surveyed nearly 14,000 professionals to bring you their insights on what 2023 may hold for our industry.
Some key highlights:
- 59% of developers do not have a university degree in Computer Science.
- The majority of teams are now hybrid, with only 15% of developers working 100% on-site.
- Despite very public layoffs, developers say they feel at least as secure in their job as last year: 33% say they feel more secure, 41% say they’ve felt no significant change.
- 1 in 2 developers are considering changing jobs in the next year.
About CodinGame and CoderPad
CodinGame and CoderPad joined forces in 2021 to become the technical hiring platform that lets the candidate’s skills say it all. We’re on a mission to make hiring technical talent fast, fair, and fun for candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers alike.
With CodinGame Screen, evaluate candidates’ coding skills with fun, hands-on programming tests that only take 60 seconds to set up. With CoderPad Live, conduct collaborative coding interviews and invite developers to write, execute and debug code—all in a performant, browser-based environment.
IN-DEMAND TECHNICAL SKILLS & POSITIONS FOR 2023
In-demand languages and frameworks
For Typescript, demand is slightly higher than supply.
As for frameworks, Node.js, React, .NETCore are both the best-known and the most in-demand frameworks.
Angular 2+ continues to lack specialists vs. demand, but its popularity is declining among devs. In 2021, 17% of respondents said they know Angular 2+, compared to 12.3% this year.
Which skills would you like to acquire/hire for in 2023?
In-demand technical skills
The top three skills developers want to learn in 2023 are web development, AI/machine learning, and game development.
Meanwhile, the top three skills recruiters want to hire for are web development, DevOps, and database software development.
These trends remain largely the same as previous years. There is a slight drop in the popularity of AI/machine learning among developers from 30% in 2022 to 24% in 2023.
In-demand technical positions
The most in-demand roles in 2023 for recruiters are:
- back-end developers (55.04%)
- full-stack developers (54.33%)
- applications developers (45.12%)
These roles align with the web developer skills that recruiters are seeking, as discussed in the previous section.
DevOps engineers, while still sought-after, have been knocked off last year’s podium from the 3rd to 5th most popular role. However, DevOps as a skillset is still highly prized, ranking 2nd after web development.
Our theory about this shift is that businesses are maturing in their adoption of DevOps and SRE (site reliability engineering) and coming to view them as principles to apply within a tech team, rather than specialist roles.
Positions companies will struggle to hire for
We asked recruiters which positions they believe will be the most difficult to fill in 2023. The answer? Full-stack and back-end developers, which also happen to be the roles with the highest demand.
This indicates a potential shortage of full-stack and back-end engineering candidates. The boom in demand for web developers does not face as much competition on the front end.
One possible explanation is the widespread availability of online training courses for front-end development, whereas full-stack and back-end developers tend to take a more traditional academic path.
70% of full-stack developers and 64% of back-end developers have a university degree in CS.
This longer learning pattern creates a disconnect between market demand and supply, and we see here that recruiters feel it painfully.
Does your company hire contingent workers?
Developers and businesses turn to the gig economy
Freelance development work is increasing in popularity. 63% of recruiters now say that their company hires contingent workers for tech needs, up from 42% last year.
Most of the developers engaging in contract work are relatively new to the freelance scene. Over half of those currently freelancing have been doing so for less than 3 years.
This shift towards gig work may be an effect of the ongoing pandemic or the latest recession. Freelancing also brings the advantages of independence, flexibility, and diverse opportunities for developers. Regardless, developers are adapting to market conditions.
HIRING AND GETTING HIRED IN 2023
Mainstream education is not mainstream anymore
59% of developers do not have a university degree in Computer Science, and close to a third consider themselves to be primarily self-taught.
In markets where requiring a CS degree is the “norm”, over half of engineers today wouldn’t meet that standard.
Fortunately, about 80% of businesses do recruit developers with non-academic backgrounds.
Unfortunately, the remaining 20% of companies who say they don’t consider developers without a degree has remained unchanged for the last three years.
Here at CoderPad, we encourage companies not to close themselves off to unconventional talent. A technical interview process should tell you whether candidates have the skills for the job. Some of our best developers come from non-traditional learning backgrounds—one is a former professional pianist!
“I learned programming when I was very young. The first operating system that I used was Windows 95 and I remember these booklets which contained assembly code. Then I worked various part-time jobs as an adult. I then taught myself programming again by doing online courses and MOOCs. Then I got employed by a tech company and decided to get a college degree in software development. So in short my path to software development contained all of the above!”
– Anonymous respondent
In reality, developers often learn to code from a combination of methods. There are many paths to working as a developer.
How job offer priorities have changed
Developers’ priorities when looking for work have shifted significantly over the past 3 years.
Today, they say that salary, work-life balance, and remote working options are the most important considerations, in that order.
In 2021, salary was in third position, behind work-life balance (1st) and interesting technical challenges (2nd). Remote working options ranked 8th.
Developers appear confident that they can command salary negotiations and address work-life balance requirements—and companies need to step up to hire top talent.
Recruiters are largely in touch with developers’ needs, choosing the same top 3 job offer considerations as candidates in 2023.
Which technical assessment methods are most accurate?
Skills assessment: what devs and recruiters think
Developers want to showcase their skillset to potential employers to the best of their ability. Recruiters want an accurate view of the candidate’s skills to determine whether they meet the requirements of the role.
Is there an assessment method that makes everyone happy?
Recruiters prefer a live coding interview with a discussion of code, followed by technical tests with practical coding questions and a personal portfolio.
Developers, meanwhile, rank technical tests as their preferred assessment method, followed by take-home (asynchronous) development projects, then live coding interviews.
It’s promising that technical tests and live interviews appear in both groups’ top 3, but recruiters should note developers’ affinity for async projects. Recruiters ranked take-home projects in 5th place.
The interview process: what devs and recruiters think
Whether or not a company includes a skills assessment, virtually all businesses conduct a live interview during the hiring process.
These can range from the universally-disliked whiteboard interview to an informal conversation.
Both recruiters and developers consider live coding sessions to be their preferred interview format, ranking them 4.1 and 3.97 out of 5 on average, respectively.
For second place, casual interviews and traditional face-to-face interviews are neck for both devs and recruiters. Whiteboarding, predictably, is last.
What is your preferred interview format?
Developers’ main challenges at work
They’ve learned to code, got some experience under their belt, sailed through the technical interview and accepted the job. Now comes the hard part—work!
Developers chose the same top 3 work challenges as they have since 2020.
- Unplanned changes to their schedule are still their biggest pain point, up 6% compared to last year.
- Unclear direction is the second ranked difficulty on the job.
- A lack of technical knowledge in the team to implement projects is their third most challenging problem.
Difficulty cooperating with other teams in the company increased by 7% and management relations gained 4% this year compared to 2022.
In the comments developers also mentioned other frustrations, including lacking proper documentation, legacy code, tedious tasks, and understaffed teams.
Businesses should take note of these challenges and address them if they hope to retain the talent they worked so hard to hire.
“Main challenge: old code bases that are legacy upon legacy upon legacy 😭”
– Anonymous respondent
It’s not all challenges and roadblocks! Some developers can’t fault their work environment even when asked:
“For the first time in my tech career, I work for an employer that understands and takes care of all these issues.”
– Anonymous respondent
RECRUITMENT PRIORITIES FOR 2023
The pace of hiring is slowing
We asked recruiters how many developers they plan to hire in 2023. Their headcount goals are slightly less ambitious than in 2022.
Last year, 35% of respondents planned to bring on more than 50 devs at their organizations. This year, only 23% are hiring at that volume.
However, those planning to make 10 or fewer technical hires increased from 39% to 48% this year. This indicates that companies are still investing in engineering talent but may move at a slower pace than previous years.
As for the experience levels recruiters are looking for, the spread between junior, mid-level, and senior role openings is fairly even: 34%, 35%, and 31% respectively.
In 2023, how many developers does your company plan to recruit?
Budget for hiring is still available
We also asked how much budget recruiters will have at their disposal to meet their hiring goals. Specifically, external costs such as tools, job boards, and agency fees—not including salaries for devs or recruiters.
The median budget for hiring developers is between $5,000–$10,000 per year.
About 19% say they will have less budget than they did in 2022. Last year, only about 13% percent were having their budget reduced—a difference of approximately 6%.
However, 45.7% of respondents say they will have more resources available to them than last year, and 35.4% say their budgets are staying the same.
This data shows that for the most part, companies are still investing in their technical recruiting process—despite fearful headlines pushing a global “tech hiring freeze.”
What is your organization’s estimated 2023 annual budget* for recruiting developers, in dollars?
*Any internal or external costs (tools, job boards, agency fees, etc.) related to hiring – excluding recruiters’ or developers’ salaries.
Tech hiring challenges
What’s the hardest part about hiring developers?
Finding qualified candidates, per 56.44% of recruiters. In fact, this challenge is only becoming more prominent—it’s up 9.8% compared to last year.
The top three challenges for recruiters remain the same as they were in 2022, with identifying potential in candidates and standing out from their competition claiming the #2 and #3 spots, respectively.
Meanwhile, conducting technical interviews appears to have become easier. It was the 4th biggest challenge in 2022, but dropped to 10th place this year. This may indicate increased adoption of tools designed for hiring the best technical talent.
What does your company do to improve diversity in its tech recruitment?
Addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion
Improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) remains an important issue in the tech industry. More recruiters consider it to be a significant issue (35.8%) than last year (33%), indicating increasing awareness.
The number one measure companies are implementing in 2023 to improve their practices is equal pay (37.8%), closely followed by using skills-based assessment tools (37.7%).
Unfortunately, 22.8% do not consider a lack of diversity in technical recruitment to be an issue at all. There is still serious work to be done to make technical hiring, and our industry as a whole, a fair and welcoming place for everyone.
Companies are investing in retention
After three years in second place, talent retention became the number one aspect of technical hiring companies plan to invest in for 2023.
The candidate experience dropped to position #2.
This priority makes sense given that 1 out of every 2 developers is considering switching jobs, as we’ll discuss below.
Hiring is expensive, so this focus on retention may be indicative of how companies are navigating uncertain economic conditions amid a high demand for technical talent.
What does your company plan to invest in/develop in 2023?
THE REMOTE WORK LANDSCAPE
How hybrid & remote work have evolved
The majority of tech teams are now a hybrid between remote and on–site work. Only 15% of developers work fully on-site. The pandemic, unsurprisingly, is the main driver of this shift.
Companies are also evolving their working models to match developer expectations. Remote working options are in devs’ top 3 most important job search criteria.
57% of recruiters and 37% of developers believe that hybrid work has improved productivity, up 6% and 5% from 2022 respectively.
This increase may be indicative that companies have adopted the tools and processes needed for hybrid teams to work successfully.
Meanwhile, 41% of developers believe that remote vs. in-person or hybrid work has no impact on work quality or productivity.
Is your tech team made up of both remote and on-site workers?
Is your hiring process remote-friendly?
Remote-friendly hiring is the norm
The strong majority of recruiters (70%) say their hiring process is completely remote-friendly.
These numbers haven’t moved compared to last year’s survey. We suspect a small number of companies are actively hanging on to face-to-face interviewing. It’s also possible they are not yet equipped with the right tools.
Remote hiring challenges
Recruiters say that evaluating so-called “soft skills” or emotional intelligence is the most challenging aspect of remote hiring. It’s considered even more difficult in 2023 (47%) than in 2022 (37%)
Developers agree, stating that conveying their personality and communication skills are the trickiest part of the remote hiring process.
Last year hiring teams ranked remote onboarding as their 6th biggest challenge, while this year it moved up to 3rd place.
We believe that as remote and hybrid conditions increase, more and more aspects of the entire working process are coming into focus.
JOB SECURITY: THE GREAT RESIGNATION OR THE GREAT LAYOFF?
Has your company experienced layoffs in the past 12 months?
Headlines about big tech layoffs—from Microsoft, Tesla, AirTable, and more—have dominated newsfeeds in 2022. That trend is reflected in our data as well.
18.8% of developers say that their company has experienced layoffs in the past 12 months.
Our survey responses indicate that these layoffs occurred across many industries, from manufacturing to security. We see no strong signal in our data as to whether some industries are more heavily impacted vs. not at all.
Despite volatility in the tech sector, developers are not particularly alarmed. 33% say they feel more secure in their jobs compared to last year, and 41% say they’ve felt no significant change.
Developers may feel relatively confident because they believe they will easily find a new role if they are impacted by layoffs.
In 2021 we asked devs how easy they thought it would be to change jobs on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being extremely easy. The average answer was 7.
While we didn’t ask the same question this year, we suspect they may feel equally as confident due to their overall sentiment of job security.
Do you feel more or less secure in your job, compared to this time last year?
The Great Resignation isn’t over
While headlines have shifted, “The Great Resignation” may be far from over. In fact, 42% of recruiters say that there’s been an increase in tech employee resignations in their company in the past 12 months.
And it looks like this isn’t about to change. More than 1 in 2 developers are thinking about quitting their job within the next year.
Despite volatility in the tech sector, the majority of developers surveyed still feel confident in their ability to find and secure jobs.
Are you thinking about quitting your job or exploring new job opportunities in the next 12 months?
“Developers are planning to leave their companies. This is a wake up call for tech leads, CEOs and companies in general, not to get overconfident. I hear fellow CEOs mumbling that Twitter is doing the right thing in ending the “entitlement” of the tech worker, or that a slow economy means you can bring everyone back to the office. It seems that developers aren’t necessarily willing to head back to the office or commit to “hardcore” work hours – and instead they’re going to look for a job elsewhere.”– Amanda Richardson, CoderPad CEO
Why developers consider resigning
We asked the respondents who were thinking about resigning or who had recently changed jobs about their motivations.
For the strong majority (67%), their top reason is to get a higher salary—which aligns with their stated priorities.
While developers don’t seem to be affected by feelings of job insecurity, they may well be feeling the increase in prices and cost of living. Inflation is real! Or they may simply know how valuable their skills are and are choosing to work for companies that will pay them accordingly.
- Computer Science degrees are no longer commonplace among developers.To fill open roles, companies should rely on skills-based assessments and coding interviews to gauge technical talent.
- Technical hiring remains competitive. More than 1 out of every 2 developers is considering job hopping, and salary is a top motivator.
- Developers should consider gaining back-end and full-stack experience to enhance their job prospects, as these roles are in the highest demand.
- Businesses and devs alike are embracing freelance work. This a is a trend to keep an eye on.
Our recruiter community
We surveyed roughly 4,200 people who hire technical profiles as part of their jobs. Respondents came from 98 countries, with varying professional experience and responsibilities.
Our developer community
We gathered feedback from close to 14,000 developers from 131 countries, with diverse professional and personal backgrounds.
Although many student coders took part in our survey, our developer community was primarily represented by professionals working in various positions and industries.
The IT services and technology industries were the main represented industries, followed by finance. Over a third of participants work in a company with more than 1,000 employees. The most common positions held were full-stack developer and back-end developer.
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