Workplace Challenges and Opportunities for Software Engineering Professionals

Skills shortages, the Great Resignation, remote and hybrid working, the continued impacts of COVID-19, and the growing demand for software professionals have been reviewed and researched over the past several months and have identified both challenges and opportunities for software engineering professionals right now. Finding and retaining people with the right skills, limited resources, growing customer demand and the hybrid workplace are driving change.

A investigation by Reveal found that the biggest business challenge this year will be recruiting developers with the right skills (53% of respondents). Other top challenges identified in the survey include difficulty maintaining current talent (46%) and not having enough time to get the job done (31%). Over a third (40%) of software industry professionals are facing increased customer demands and 39% are working with limited resources (lack of budget, inability to maintain software).

The Reveal survey results are supported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which indicates that the software developer will be one of the four first occupations in demand over the next 10 years with nearly 200,000 jobs that are difficult to replace each year. Retirement, exiting the workforce, and moving into different professions highlight this predicted dearth of developers.

A McKinsey investigation looked at the roles with the highest skill shortages and found that data analytics is the area with the greatest need to fill skill gaps.

The revelation investigation also found that business intelligence and data analytics tools grow and grow because of their ability to help solve problems and support the decision-making process, 71% of software developers expecting their focus on business intelligence to increase and 45% of respondents expect to use embedded analytics in 2022.

More than three-quarters (77%) of software developers currently integrate business intelligence applications into their products developed for end users. The top use cases for business intelligence/data analytics software were identified as: making better business decisions (45%), understanding business issues (44%), improving productivity (43%) and increase sales/revenue (39%).

Approaches to address the shortage include adopting low-code and no-code platforms. A report of Gartner predicts that by 2024, low-code adoption will be so widespread that 75% of software solutions built globally will be built using such tools.

A recent DPI report reviewed the research done on the Great Quit and offered three key things organizations need to act on to retain and attract people with the skills they need:

1. As more and more employees want a flexible workplace, companies need to listen and actively engage employees about their needs.

2. Many employees believe that remote work options improve productivity. Businesses need to invest in resources and tools to increase and improve collaboration.

3. More and more CEOs are taking an interest in employee well-being and trying to better align their employees with the purpose of the organization.

Gordon K. Morehouse