Hired, an online job marketplace, recently released its “2023 State of Software Engineers” report, which offers a comprehensive overview of the tech industry's current state.
The report points out big transitions in the tech Industry and provides a deeper analysis of trends in software engineering, including emerging roles and popular programming languages.
According to the report, the changes that the tech industry is experiencing include the rapid adoption of remote work, a growing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and an increasing demand for software engineers with specialized skills. Many of these changes have been explored earlier by FloCareer, but it is good to see corroboration.
The report is based on data collected from Hired's platform. The report includes insights from over 400,000 interview requests and job offers from more than 10,000 companies worldwide.
Josh Brenner, Hired’s CEO, says that the tech industry unemployment rate has improved from 1.8% to 1.5%, indicating that many laid-off workers have been reabsorbed into the workforce.
Almost every company now became a tech company, and software engineering is a resilient, adaptable, and creative problem-solving career.
Software engineers are still motivated by new challenges, continuous learning, and building products/solutions, with earning potential and career stability following closely behind. From May to December 2022, layoffs had the greatest impact on salaries and interview interest for junior and non-traditional engineers.
The employer demand shifted towards candidates with more years of experience, with 72% of interview requests going to those with six or more years of experience by December 2022, up from 64% in January 2022. The senior talent also saw higher salary increases compared to junior talent.
However, despite high-profile calls for return-to-office, demand for remote engineering talent remains high, commanding higher salaries than local roles, especially in smaller markets. Layoffs had only a small impact on employers' willingness to hire remotely, with 39% of candidates preferring only remote roles by December 2022.
Software engineering roles and coding skills in demand have shifted this year. Natural Language Processing (NLP) engineers received the highest salary at $179K per year, with salaries increasing 10% year over year. Backend engineers received the most interview requests (59%), with Ruby on Rails being the most in-demand skill. Software candidates with the “hottest skills” were more likely to receive interview requests.
The Tech industry underwent a significant change in 2023, with widespread layoffs. The article provides a more accurate reflection of current market conditions, including insights from engineering job seekers. The report highlights the highest-paying markets for remote and local roles.
Despite layoffs in 2022, most software engineers (68%) are not concerned about losing their jobs in the next six months. The majority (40%) witnessed the demand for engineering talent increase in 2022 and expect it to continue into 2023.
New challenges and continuous learning remain the top motivators for engineers, followed by building products/solutions and problem-solving. Compensation and job security are important factors for engineers committed to staying in their field.
Flexibility is the top priority for engineers in their ideal work environment, followed by learning from coworkers and professional growth opportunities. Employers are prioritizing flexible work schedules over the next six months.
In 2022, demand for remote software engineering talent increased in all markets except for London. 52% of employers are hiring fully remote engineering teams, while 40% are focusing on hybrid teams. The San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and London saw the highest shift in interview requests towards remote roles, while demand for local roles decreased significantly in HCOL markets. Toronto and London continue to trail behind the US in remote work adoption. In London, 59% of interview requests were for local roles.
A recent survey found that flexibility is the top priority for 76% of software engineers in their ideal work culture, followed by coworkers (57%), opportunities for professional development (55%), and great managers (47%). Employers are also prioritizing flexibility, with 79% saying that they will focus on offering flexible work schedules, such as working from home and flexible hours, over the next six months.
Top Software Engineering Roles: Interest + Salaries
Companies on the Hired platform shifted their interest slightly to hiring Backend engineers over Fullstack engineers in 2022, with Backend engineers receiving 59% of all interview requests, followed closely by Fullstack engineers (56%) and Frontend engineers (25%).
Backend engineers were also the most difficult engineering role to fill, with 41% of employers surveyed struggling to fill these positions. This shift may reflect larger companies being able to afford to be more flexible and employ separate Backend and Frontend engineers.
AI is a rapidly growing field, with more companies prioritizing engineers proficient in AI/ML and NLP to stay ahead of competitors. NLP engineers are in high demand, with the highest salary of $179K per year, and had the highest salary growth year over year.
Interestingly, eSMBs drove most of the demand and salary increase for NLP engineers. In 2022, Blockchain technology augmented other hot tech areas, with engineers possessing blockchain expertise commanding the second highest engineering salaries of $173K. Additionally, cybersecurity attacks drove the need for security engineers, with salaries remaining high at $172K. Machine learning, search, and computer vision also saw high salaries and salary growth year over year.
Spotlight on Blockchain:
The demand for skilled blockchain engineers remained steady in 2022, despite the volatility of cryptocurrency. The number of interviews for the role dropped from Q2 to the close of the year, but the salary remained level (and it's important to note that blockchain is not synonymous with cryptocurrency, as it has multiple applications such as finance and logistics).
Top Software Engineering Skills
In 2022, Ruby on Rails was the most in-demand programming skill by employers, followed by Ruby and Scala. Engineers skilled in this framework received 1.64x more interview requests compared to the marketplace average.
The Non-Traditional Coding Path:
Almost half (46%) of new hires in 2022 felt their employer focused on skills over pedigree. The majority (64%) of employers surveyed actively consider engineering candidates with non-traditional backgrounds, such as self-taught programmers and bootcamp graduates. This is good news for diversity, but the wage gap between traditional and non-traditional educational backgrounds went bigger in 2022, with the latter making $.96 for every dollar earned by the former.
Top Skills for Engineering Managers:
Engineers have faced layoffs and downsizing, resulting in smaller teams and more work. Engineering managers are expected to have versatile skills that include communication and product building, with soft skills prioritized over hard skills. Employers also have a clear preference for the “right” kind of engineering manager, with a focus on technical skills.
So What's Next?
Despite the volatility of the tech industry, software engineers' passion for the field remains high, with enjoyment being the biggest motivator to learn new skills. Engineers remain committed to solving big problems, including humanitarian issues and the future of work/collaboration.
To attract and retain qualified talent, companies must establish a culture of experimentation and innovation that values professional development and continuous learning. Transparency is also crucial in maintaining trust with employees when communicating upcoming workplace changes, including Work From Home policies, compensation, and company headcount.