The ever-changing IT market dynamically adapts to the economic situation and very quickly incorporates and even sets various trends. Many of its features that are taken for granted today, aren’t noticeable in other industries, where they’re approached with caution. Things like the ubiquity of remote working and the openness in terms of communicating pay rates are yet to achieve universality in many areas. This makes the IT market a great place to gather important information in a broader context.
SEDIVIO’s survey on the state of the IT market
SEDIVIO, recognising the value mentioned above, conducted its own survey. We examined the current state of the IT industry. We carried our research over the last six months, asking IT professionals about the present and the future of their field. We received the most responses from the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway. Respondents from the British Isles also showed a high engagement. This is the first article in a series summarizing our study.
Shortage of senior IT specialists
The vast majority of those taking part in the survey unanimously confirmed that the industry continues to face the problem of low staff availability. 75% of experts surveyed shared the opinion that there’s still a shortage of candidates in the market. The in-depth responses to this question provided important information on the profile of employees sought. The shortage is not of lower-level professionals, but of those at middle and high levels.
Competence declines over time
Interestingly, the findings also highlighted the fact that those currently in senior positions don’t always boast sufficient competence. This is especially relevant given the ever-evoling IT landscape. Employees who avoid continous training quickly find that there are skills insufficient for a high professional position. SEDIVIO respondents emphasised the value of self-improvement, seeing e-learning as an important way of acquiring IT expertise.
Studying computer science is not enough
On the contrary, traditional forms of teaching were strongly criticised. According to the study participants, classical school and university education is backwards in relation to current IT trends. A degree course relevance gradually drops in the face of actual experience, flexibility and an extensive project portfolio, even it consists of amateur creations. The responses SEDIVIO received addressed the need of rapid change in the education system. Pessimistic opinions prevailed, rejecting traditional education in favour of predicting an increase in online courses organised by IT practitioners in contact with the living fabric of the industry.
What’s the most important qualities of a good programmer?
Programming languages are universal and not subject to geographical barriers, as reflected in our survey results. 90% of respondents don’t mind recruiting from abroad. Contrary to what you may think, a candidate’s financial expectations are not the most important factor in a hiring decision. Here, the quality of the code comes to the fore. A high standard is set by 93% of respondents. Salary expectations only ranked fourth among the selection criteria with a score of 70%. Good verbal and non-verbal communication and commitment to work ranked higher.
The myth of a uncommunicative IT specialist
The belief that soft skills don’t matter in technical professions is a popular myth. It is not shared by the respondents to our survey. As many as 77% rated strong verbal and non-verbal communication as an important factor to consider when hiring. 91% of head-hunters hold a high regard for work commitment.
The ideal employee is therefore proactive in the professional field as well as communicative, offering high quality work. In fifth place among the most important hiring criteria was knowledge of foreign languages with a score of 61%.
Where are IT specialists recruited from?
Among the destinations for sourcing specialists from abroad, Poland maintains a very good position. Despite many cheaper alternatives, 55.6% of respondents would opt for an employee from Poland. This trend doesn’t stop even taking into account the increasing salaries of Polish programmers – their country is still considered an important IT centre. This correlates with the results of comparisons trying to determine the homeland of best programmers. Poland tops the list, overtaken only by China and Russia.
Respondents who answered that Poland isn’t an employee sourcing destination are mostly (63.6%) looking outside Europe. When Poland is out of of the picture, Ukraine is preffered. 27.3% of respondents look for employees here. This is one indication that the fast-growing Ukrainian IT services market has been little affected by the ongoing crisis.