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Is There a Developer Shortage?

Hey, hey, it's the Daily Byte! Over the next several days, we'll be talking about developer roles, success taits, and the future ahead. Today we tackle the burning question:

Why is the software industry facing a developer shortage, and how can we address this issue?

Share your insights into the ongoing debate about the scarcity of developers and follow the DEVteam for more discussions and online camaraderie!

Top comments (33)

jimmylipham profile image
Jimmy Lipham

There's a shortage of qualified developers. The amount of developers that throw some cash at some popular YouTuber's bootcamp and 6 months later want well into six figures because they can create a new NextJS boilerplate project, however, are in great supply.

Not to be 🔥 - but that's what I've seen in my recent searches for engineers.

That's why I think communities like DEV are so important. When I was learning how to program in ~2000-2001, the primary medium was IRC and figuring things out. Community and having a two-way learning path goes a long way.

Also, if you're trying to get into the field, show me some scenarios where you've built something when you weren't asked to build something (GitHub goes a long way here!). Show hiring managers how you've stepped out for yourself, and people are much more likely to step out and give you a shot.

manuartero profile image
Manuel Artero Anguita 🟨 • Edited

can't agree more. I'm 🇪🇸 , here the situation is:

  • swarms of people that have spent 6m ~ 1y in a boot-camp that is expecting a crazy paid jobs cause it's what they have told them during the course.

    • absolute lack of developers with some (5y+) experience

and regarding the companies, 2 types of companies:

  • local companies with salaries that I won't go into detail about because it might sound unbelievable,
  • remote branches of USA based companies that boost local salaries by ~50%. It's still cheap for the foreign companies while a nice perk for the local employee.
jimmylipham profile image
Jimmy Lipham

Absolutely. I think the underlying issue is partially that people think finishing the bootcamp and landing a job is some sort of destination. In reality it is just the start. In this field, you really have to "learn how to learn".

I love your point on international hiring. We hire a lot of developers from the Ukraine. It works out great for them because they're getting a lot more cash in their pocket than other local gigs, and it works out great for us because they're fantastic engineers and it ends up being just slightly cheaper so we can have a bigger team with a larger variety of inputs an opinions.

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zulbil profile image
Joel Alexandre Khang Zulbal

I can relate to what you are saying. I think the part of the problem is that people are not passionate about it like before. I think when you truly love something it makes a huge difference, even in your way to stand out among your pairs.

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jimmylipham profile image
Jimmy Lipham

Great point, Joel! I agree, when you get increasing salaries, you'll also get an increasing amount of foot traffic into the industry. People that jump ship solely for the money are often met with the chilling reality of what the job entails.

Don't get me wrong, I love my paychecks! However sometimes it's a fight to write software, and I happen to love the fight 😊

hi_iam_chris profile image
Kristijan Pajtasev

Yes definitely agree on this. Every job posting does have a lot of applicants, but i always keep getting comment that there not a lot, not good ones, but even remotely acceptable.

You know, applying for senior frontend engineer positions and saying they know react but not javascript. Or saying they have 5+react experience but not being able to solve tutorial hello world example etc.

manuartero profile image
Manuel Artero Anguita 🟨 • Edited

Real story:

I'm in charge of the tech screen test for the hiring process.

For a React position my test was to solve a 'bug' on a Hello World application in React (i took it from the React docs). The only thing to do is to write a map() like:

{ => <AlreadyWorkingComponent item={item} />) }
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

and that's it, that's the test.

Success ratio was 1 / 8 candidates

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msopacua profile image

No key attribute.


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manuartero profile image
Manuel Artero Anguita 🟨



(anyway it could be managed in <AlreadyWorkingComponent item />)

trenthaynes profile image
Trent Haynes

Qualified developers or experienced developers (not necessarily the same thing)?

I don't see anything wrong with someone fresh out of a bootcamp wanting 6-figures. If they're good enough, they'll get it. If not, they won't.

I also don't care if you've built something on your own unless it directly relates to the job you are seeking. I've encountered almost a negative correlation between the ability of a developer to write something good on their own and their ability to write code as part of a team.

jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy 🎖️

Developer shortage, nope. Competent developer shortage, yup.

The number of poor developers I've had applying for positions has been rising steadily year on year. Something is wrong

overflow profile image

its youtube.....with their learn "Javascript in three hours" "tutorial videos".......people like me jump into this rabbit hole and then some of us discover that its way deep and there is so many doors to open.

jimmylipham profile image
Jimmy Lipham

Hey, at least you've gut checked and level-set expectations for yourself now. The fact that you're here and constantly trying to learn already puts you ahead. I can say from experience, stick with it. An engineering career is life changing. I've had the ability to wake up every single morning for 20+ years and build things for a very good living. How great is that?

Also, JavaScript tends to irk me to no end, so the fact that you're diving right in makes me envious!

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overflow profile image
overFlow • Edited

Thank you very much the motivation goes a long way....I am keeping on keeping on. Its nice to be here. The exposure to the camaraderie; the lessons; and the love is amazing to me i love it and i work every minute to level up!!

By the way would you say that there are other languages simpler to learn than JS?

Most appreciated.
Thank you.

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jimmylipham profile image
Jimmy Lipham • Edited

Love it!

Regarding languages to learn, I think JS is a great first language. I'd generally say any language that obeys relatively standard flow (in terms of logical primitives) and sane syntax AND can allow you to build something you want is the way to go.

In JS you can build everything from webapps to mobile apps and even games in the browser. So keep at it!

(I just grumble from time to time because I've been through multiple iterations of the language and come from a background of more strict, and arguably dumber languages like C/C++). I'm in awe of the programmers that can just fluently spit out quality JS code.

Stay hungry my friend!

skyjur profile image

There is always shortage of competent people no matter the situation. Because the more competent people there is the higher competency bar is raised and then everybody wants even more competent people because that's what will be making competitive difference.

panditapan profile image

Well, in my humble but correct opinion, there isn't a developer shortage, there's a "senior level genius developer that can do 10 different roles and who would gladly be paid as a recent graduate" shortage.

Not enough companies are betting on actual juniors so, the level of "cheap" available seniors has become smaller. That's the actual shortage. Which is then filled by outsourcing companies. is beautiful!

clerijr profile image
Clerivaldo Junior

Far from that actually, i think we got more developers than we ever had. At one side we got a growing in the number of developers through years( and from the other we have a lot of companies 'suffering' layoffs.
Image description

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel (

I don't know how it is elsewhere, but in France there is a great misunderstanding on the topic of full remote.
Companies had been forced by Covid-19 and then lack of good devs to allow it. But now is the opportunity they are seizing to go back to normal. To a situation they know they can control tightly.
Devs on the other hand, and especially experimented devs, saw covid-19 as the beginning as a new better normal. They see the lack of full remote offers, struggle to find a job despite being super qualified, but hold on their need for autonomny.
It's a loose loose scenario at the moment.
The only good news is that it's making those experimented devs think hard about switching from more freelancing to real entrepreneurship.
If you build a SAAS, nobody cares where you are working from.

olgabraginskaya profile image
Olga Braginskaya

I would say: it's a shortage of proper hiring. Companies set 7-8 interviews with 1-2 home assigments or 2-3 hours of whiteboarding and then complain that there are no candidates. I mean why I should go though 7-8 interviews in the company that is not FAANG, doesn't have compensation as FAANG and most of the times the compensation is even less then the middle one. And even is you pass all those fibonacci and trees issues a few times with different people, hr usually disappears - I guess to write another complain about devs shortage on the Internet.

neilb_92 profile image
Neil B

hr usually disappears - I guess to write another complain about devs shortage on the Internet.

Worth repeating. It's like the small stores in the US during and after the pandemic that had signs on the counter reading, "short staffed because nobody wants to work."

No, angry little store owner, people want to work. They just don't want to work for YOU.

canro91 profile image
Cesar Aguirre


ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke • Edited

It might rather be a shortage of good jobs/employers, much like in nursing, child care, health care, crafts and truck driving: if employers cared (or had the necessary money, opportunity, and knowledge) to improve workplace culture and requirements and offered decent payment (at least not one of our problems) to attract the existing workforce, and invested in education and training of aspiring juniors, there should not be any shortage in any industry sector.

There are a lot of bad developers, and that's a real problem as well. Some should better switch jobs, but a lot might become good enough when given proper education and practice.

There are enough people ready and willing to work. But they need a safe (enough) and welcoming (enough) work environment and an opportunity to do their work legally and be allowed to stay in the country. In the USA they have a green card migration scheme at least. In Europe we have populist politicians fueling racism and prejudice. If I hadn't been born as a German citizen, I probably wouldn't want to live in Germany even if I managed to learn the language.

As others mentioned, remote work increased during the pandemic. Globally, there should be more than enough developers now and we should be able to work together even with the current restrictions on migration. But if employers insist on having everyone sitting in their office, they will have to deal with their self-inflicted developer shortage

canseo profile image
mehdi derakhshan مهدی درخشان

it's worth noting that the overall number of developers globally has been increasing. The availability of developer talent can vary based on local circumstances, specific skill sets, and market demands. Organizations often employ various strategies to address the shortage, such as upskilling existing employees, outsourcing development work, or hiring from non-traditional talent pools.

highcenburg profile image
Vicente Antonio G. Reyes

No, there aren't. The market has a lot of open jobs due to the lack of qualified skills by people who code.

jimmymcbride profile image
Jimmy McBride

I agree with this sentiment here. I touch on this in my blog More Than Money: Finding Deeper Value in Coding where I go over the lack of passion I've seen.

There's this notion that you should have to code outside of work to be a good and employable developer. It just seems weird. Like yes, you shouldn't have to. You should want to!

You don't need 10's of thousands of developers. There's a very competitive market for software engineers right now. You have to bring your A-game and show that you care about the craft.

If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

Coding doesn't feel like work to me. Even when working on the worst bug ever, I'd rather be in hell trying to solve that bug than not trying to solve that problem. I feel whole, even when the going gets rough.

Anyway, I'm glad the age of getting an easy paycheck as a developer is over.

gravy profile image
Grace Icay

I would have to say no. I've seen so many people who are shifting into a career in tech, so I highly doubt that.
And yet despite there being more resources now than ever, it's also hard to filter out the noise and learn the key concepts that actually matter to get the experiences you need to get a job.

starswan profile image
Stephen Dicks

Must disagree about JS being a good first language. Yes you can build stuff in it, but you can do that in lots of other ways (ruby and python spring to mind). Also the web adds to the amount of confusion - its got lots of moving parts that can make software engineering much more complicated. JS doesn't give much structure, so programming in the large becomes unwieldy very quickly. Everyone learns what the perceived market need is (which is Angular/React/Svelte whatever) when the actual need is decent engineers who can keep the complexity under control

thetanweerali profile image
Tanweer Ali • Edited

I think it's a lot worse now with ChatGPT.

Everyone and their grandma can pretend to know how to code by copy pasting ChatGPT "projects" in their Github repo. And passing online coding tests with the help of ChatGPT.

No, there's no shortage but finding good developers is getting increasingly harder.

ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke

Some say, developers will be replaced by AI bots.
Some say it's hard to get a job as a developer.
Some say there is a developer shortage.
It depends.

savyjs profile image

No, There is not.
For senior developers? Yes, There is.