Is India about to experience a huge talent shortage for tech developers?
- India’s developer talent shortage has the potential to get even worse in the time to come.
- Higher compensation, remote or flexible working environments, as well as better benefits, are among the top factors that motivate people to leave jobs, especially for younger developers.
- 18% of respondents also cited a lack of time and resources to work on projects is also a key challenge.
Talent shortage in tech jobs continues to be a big problem for most countries around the world. In Southeast Asia, the shortage of talent in tech jobs has led to some governments and organizations offering these jobs to foreign talents, especially for roles like tech developers.
India, which is known for its tech talent, continues to have most of its tech developers move to Southeast Asia or other parts of the world in search of better job opportunities. Realizing this, enterprises in India have also improved their job offerings to retain their employees, with hopes of avoiding a shortage of employees.
Reports show that India has over 1.67 million app developers and is expected to be the largest developer population center by 2024, overtaking both the US and European Union.
Despite this, a recent survey by DigitalOcean Holdings showed that India’s developer talent shortage has the potential to get even worse in the time to come. India is already investing heavily in its tech industry, offering intensives and such to international tech companies to set up their hub in the subcontinent.
A shortage of talent, especially developers could lead to the country facing a huge gap to fill in the future, given the importance these roles are in the industry.
According to the report, just over a quarter of developers who have been in the workforce globally for over a year started a new job in the past year, and 42% of those who didn’t are considering or may consider leaving their jobs this year. Comparatively, in India, 32% of the same cohort have started a new job this year, and 44% of those haven’t been considering it.
“Attracting and retaining developer talent is evolving rapidly and companies need to adapt to the new landscape. Businesses need to better understand developers and give them the tools, benefits, and pay they need to be successful — business survival in the digital era depends on it,” commented Gabe Monroy, Chief Product Officer at DigitalOcean.
The report also showed that 27% of developers with more than a year’s experience have started a new job in the past year. One in five developers with 15 years or more of experience also started a new job in the past year. 64% of those with less than a year’s experience, and 32% of those with 1 to 5 years experience, left the job recently. By comparison, only 21% with more than 15 years of experience have done so.
When it comes to reasons for leaving their current role, many said compensation, remote or flexible working environments, as well as better benefits, are among the top factors that motivate people to leave jobs, especially for younger developers. 18% of respondents also cited a lack of time and resources to work on projects is also a key challenge, and 11% mentioned team members leaving as a challenge, demonstrating that the developer talent shortage is impacting even those who stay in their roles.
Open source, emerging tech influencing talent shortage?
For most developers, open source is often a life savior for them when it comes to developing new apps and solutions. The report showed that 56% of respondents from India have participated in open-source projects in the past year, and 71% of those respondents say their participation has increased during the pandemic.
However, just 12% of respondents say they have been paid for their contribution to open source projects, compared to 20% of all respondents. This, while 67% agree or strongly agree that individuals should be paid for their open-source contributions, and 79% believe companies should give more time for open source contributions.
When asked what they have gained from contributing to open-source, developers reported enhanced skills (35%), networking (19%), and job opportunities (11%). While developers in India reported enhanced skills (37%), networking (23%), and job opportunities (10%). In fact, 64% of companies use open-source code for more than half of their software.
However, most businesses don’t give their developers time or compensation to contribute to open-source projects. 79% of developers want to be able to contribute to open-source during the workday, and a majority believe that they should be paid for those contributions.
Another interesting highlight is that despite the buzz around blockchain and Web3 technologies, 67% of developers do not use blockchain/Web3 yet. They also have mixed opinions about low-code — developers with fewer years of experience are more likely to see the value of low-code, while those with more experience believe low-code is overhyped.
Usage of containers and serverless architecture is slightly lower in India than overall, with 55% saying they use containers, container orchestration systems, and microservices, compared to 68% of all respondents. 32% are using serverless architecture, compared to 44% in total.
A slightly higher percentage in India is using or plans to use blockchain technologies and automation (AI/ML). 55% of those in India compared to 33% in the total sample are already using blockchain technology. Additionally, 13% of Indian respondents believe they will use open source for blockchain technologies next year, compared to 7% of total respondents. 68% are using automation compared to 57% in the total sample.
With that said, businesses of all sizes in India need to rethink their approach to attracting and retaining highly skilled developer talent.
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