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New CoderPad Survey Reveals Shifts in Tech Hiring, Skills, and AI Sentiments

Announcements , Hiring Developers

CoderPad has released their seventh annual global State of Tech Hiring Survey, surveying nearly 19,000 software developers and technical recruiters globally, finding that despite signs of a recovering tech job market, developers are less confident in their current roles and ability to find a new role. The survey also looked at biggest challenges facing developers, the impact of AI on developers and hiring, most in-demand skills, and more.

“Developers today are facing a mixed macroeconomic climate, a rapid technological shift with generative AI making their jobs more efficient, and constantly shifting workplace dynamics with RTO back in full force.

Meanwhile, recruiters are learning how to incorporate new tools to improve the overall hiring experience while facing smaller recruiting teams in recent years.

As both sides adjust to an AI-driven future and the implications on their roles, breaking technical roles into specific skills and having the ability to sufficiently evaluate those skills will lead to the most success. Businesses need to lean on technology more than ever to grow their business and achieve their plans, and that only happens if they have the right skills on their team.”

Amanda Richardson, CEO at CoderPad

Job market sentiment

About one quarter (26%) of tech recruiters will have more budget to recruit for technical roles in 2024 than last year. But unease in the job market persists, as 21% of developers say they felt less secure in their job, up from 17% last year. Despite the unease – or perhaps because of it – almost two-thirds of developers (59%) either recently switched jobs or are considering exploring new roles over the next year. The top three reasons for a move are:

  • Better advancement opportunities: 52% 
  • Higher salary: 48% 
  • To escape boredom and find new challenges: 28% 

While money is a motivating factor in finding a new job, companies looking for the key to retention might be surprised that salary doesn’t even break the top three reasons developers stay in a job. The survey revealed work/life balance (38%), great colleagues (37%), and exciting challenges (27%) are what entice employees to stay put.

While poor management is often cited as a main factor in an employee’s decision to leave a company, technical managers are doing something right, with almost three-fourths (75%) of developers happy with their current manager.

Impact of AI

43% developers are optimistic about AI in their daily work, while 27% are neutral, 23% are skeptical, and only 7% are worried about the technology’s impact on their career or job prospects. Adoption is high among tech professionals: nearly two-thirds (67%) already use AI as part of their job, while 70% think that AI will help reduce their workload, and 60% would like to use it more as part of their job. Among those using AI at work, the two most common tools used are ChatGPT (60%) and GitHub’s Copilot (18%). The top five use cases are:

  1. Code assistance (including debugging): 59%
  2. Learning and tutorials: 54%
  3. Autocompletion/code generation: 45%
  4. Documentation and API support: 26%
  5. Prototyping and idea generation: 24%

Developers aren’t the only ones using AI in their daily work, reflecting a growing trend among recruiters seeking efficiency in the hiring process. More than one-third (38%) of tech recruiters are using AI in the hiring process, while one-third say they are prioritizing AI tools as their number one investment in 2024. Despite AI’s popularity in the tech industry overall, its use by candidates in the hiring process is controversial. More surprisingly, candidates themselves are more likely to think using AI during a job interview is cheating (33%), compared to one-quarter (23%) of recruiters. Only 8% of recruiters encourage the use of AI during interviews, and almost half (48%) saying its acceptability depends on usage.

Skills, Skills, Skills

For the first time, the survey found that recruiters anticipate struggling to recruit AI/machine learning specialists to meet new demand. The top roles that recruiters believe will be a challenge to recruit in 2024 include:

  1. Back-end developer/engineer: 21%
  2. AI/Machine learning specialist: 18%
  3. Full-stack developer/engineer: 15%

AI’s impact goes beyond technological; it’s fundamentally changing the types of skills needed for every job, from the C-suite to an internship. AI can help optimize daily work, making many workers more efficient—and as a result, skills such as communication, critical thinking, and the ability to take and give feedback are front and center. Soft skills, often overlooked or undervalued in technical roles, are gaining prominence. The majority of both developers (78%) and recruiters (81%) say soft skills are at least as important as hard skills in evaluating software engineers. However, 20% of recruiters cite challenges in effectively evaluating these crucial attributes.

“Recruiters should shift their focus from categorizing skills as either hard or soft and instead recognize the value in all skills. The key is to identify the right mix of technical and non-technical abilities essential for success in a particular role, and then tailor the hiring process to better evaluate those skills that really matter.”

Amanda Richardson, CEO at CoderPad

For more information, view the full report here.