The Great Software Engineer Shortage: Signs the Gap Is About To Expand

developers shortage

What is the backbone of any tech project? The answer lies in the skill and expertise of software engineers who form the foundation of innovation and development in the highly competitive tech world. However, as the demand for advanced technology continues to surge, there are growing signs that the existing shortage of skilled software engineers is on the brink of expanding, raising concerns about the potential challenges and implications for the industry.

The shortage of software engineers is expanding due to a convergence of factors. The rapid evolution of technology has led to an escalating demand for skilled professionals capable of navigating emerging tools and frameworks, outstripping the pace at which new talent enters the field. Traditional education models struggle to keep up with the industry’s dynamic nature, hindering aspiring engineers from acquiring the in-demand skills. The globalized nature of the tech industry, coupled with the rise of remote work, intensifies competition among companies for the same pool of skilled individuals. This perfect storm of factors not only exacerbates the shortage but also poses challenges for the sustained growth of the technology sector.

In this article, we’ll explore the best steps your startup or high growth company can take to recruit and retain skilled software engineers before other organizations steal away your top talent.

Table of Contents

The Rising Global Software Engineer Shortage: Statistics and Market Overview

Here’s the headline that might make you quake in your boots: the tech world is facing a drastic shortage of software developers and engineers in almost every region.

According to a study by Deloitte, the global shortage of software engineering talent has grown significantly in the past few years. This shortage has been seen in developed countries like North America and Europe, as well as emerging markets such as India and China.

Because of this, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to find software developers who have the necessary skills and experience. This has resulted in an increased demand for experienced developers, while new entrants into the field struggle to get their foot in the door. 

As a result, many organizations are turning to external sources to help fill the software engineer shortage. This includes an increased use of online training platforms, third-party recruiters and international recruiting firms in order to attract top talent from around the world.

The shortage of software engineers is a major issue for businesses across the globe as it prevents them from taking advantage of new technologies and staying ahead of the competition. Companies must find ways to bridge this gap in order to stay competitive, and it is essential that they invest in training and recruitment initiatives in order to ensure they have access to the right software engineering talent.

Here are the key stats that keep tech leaders up at night:

shortage stats

Digging into the Software Developer Shortage Statistics

The US is currently facing a critical shortage of software developers and engineers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 3 million software engineering jobs in the US, yet only 1.3 million people have the skills required to fill these positions. This means that there is a deficit of nearly 2 million software engineers needed for businesses to remain competitive and successful in today’s digital world. 

The situation has become so dire that some experts are predicting a crisis if this issue isn’t addressed soon. In addition, many current software engineers are aging out of their roles due to retirement or other factors, further exacerbating the problem.

It’s clear that something must be done urgently to bridge this gap and ensure businesses can find qualified professionals who possess both technical competence as well as soft skills.


The good news is that there are solutions available, such as looking for offshore talent (which is what TurnKey does best!), investing in technical education, offering competitive salaries for software engineers and offering incentives for developers to stay. If businesses take proactive steps now, the software engineer shortage will be much more manageable.

If the Software Developer Talent Shortage Scares You, Let TurnKey Solve This Problem for You.

Factors That Drive Demand For Software Engineers and Developers in the US

As we’ve already mentioned, the United States has been facing an acute shortage of software engineers and developers for quite some time. This shortage is due to a number of factors including the increasing demand for these professionals in various industries, lack of qualified personnel, and the rapidly changing nature of technology. 

We will explore six key factors that are driving the growing demand for software engineering and development in America. These include: increased adoption of digital technologies; need for more secure applications; rise in automation; increase in mobile applications; growth of cloud computing; and emergence of new programming languages.

By understanding these drivers behind the software engineer shortage, organizations can better prepare their workforce to meet current demands as well as future needs. So without further ado, let’s dive in and explore these six key factors.

Factor #1: Increasing Adoption of Digital Technologies

Digital transformation has become an essential part of doing business in today’s world. Companies need to stay competitive by leveraging modern technologies such as ML, AI, big data analytics, and IoT solutions. As a result, organizations of all types are seeking software engineers with expertise in these areas to develop innovative products and applications that can help them achieve their objectives.

Factor #2: The Need for More Secure Applications

With cyber threats on the rise, companies are increasingly looking to invest in professionals who specialize in developing secure applications that can keep sensitive customer data safe from malicious actors. Furthermore, software engineers who can create secure code for mobile applications and cloud-based solutions are becoming increasingly sought after in the tech industry.

Factor #3: The Rise of Automation

Automation is increasing across many industries, and organizations are looking to hire engineers who specialize in developing automation tools and platforms that can help them increase efficiency and reduce costs. Consequently, there is growing demand for software professionals with expertise in robotics, machine learning, AI, IOT, and much more.

Factor #4: Mobile Apps Are Required For Any Type of Product or Service

Mobile application development has become an important part of modern businesses. Companies need developers who have expertise in developing apps for different devices and platforms such as Android and iOS. Moreover, developing apps for wearables such as smartwatches, fitness trackers, and virtual reality headsets are also becoming increasingly in demand.

Factor #5: Cloud Computing Has Accelerated Product Development Velocity

Cloud computing is one more major driver of software engineering demand since it means companies can build software faster and better than ever before.  The cloud is becoming an essential part of IT infrastructure for many organizations and developers need to be able to create applications that can run on the cloud. This requires knowledge of distributed computing, networking, data storage, and other cloud-related technologies.

Factor #6: The Continued Emergence of New Programming Languages

New programming languages have been emerging at a rapid rate over the past few years. As companies look to leverage these new languages for their products, they require software engineers who are knowledgeable about them. This includes understanding language syntax as well as being able to use frameworks such as Java or NodeJS effectively.

Top 10 Reasons for the Software Developer Shortage in the U.S.

shortage reasons

This list above sums up the main reasons why there is currently a shortage of software engineers in the United States and other parts of the world. 

Companies should strive to create an environment where talented engineers are valued, respected and given the opportunity to grow so they can continue building technological solutions for the future.

With this in mind, we can work towards better managing the software engineer shortage and creating a more vibrant and diverse community of developers who will help drive innovation forward!

How Can Businesses Solve the Software Developer Talent Shortage?

Software development talent shortage has led to a hiring crisis for many businesses, as they struggle to find qualified software developers. Fortunately, there are several strategies that businesses can use to solve this problem. Here are seven ideas for how startups and tech companies can combat the software developer talent shortage:

1. Analyze Your Hiring Pipeline

The first step to addressing the software developer talent shortage is understanding what kinds of people you’re looking for. Break down your recruiting process into stages and then measure where you’re failing to connect with the right candidates. Whether that be in outreach or evaluation. Identifying problematic areas is key for making improvements in your hiring process.

2. Train & Develop Existing Employees

Companies can reduce their software developer talent shortage by investing in training and upskilling current employees. This includes providing opportunities for cross-training, taking advantage of online courses, or sending staff to seminars and boot camps. This provides an opportunity to increase the technical capabilities of existing employees and build a deeper understanding of software engineering concepts that could be applied on the job.

3. Utilize Offshoring Services

Offshoring allows businesses to tap into a larger pool of skilled professionals with experience in different areas of software development and coding. By turning to foreign markets with more sophisticated labor pools, you can access professionals with greater experience than you may be able to find locally. 

4. Adjust Compensation Packages

It’s possible that your current compensation packages aren’t competitive enough compared with other companies in the industry—if that’s the case, it may be worthwhile for you to adjust them in order to attract more skilled workers. Additionally, offering benefits such as stock options could be a good incentive for those seeking lucrative opportunities in software development jobs.

5. Foster Employee Retention

Companies should focus on building an environment where employees feel appreciated and valued. This can help boost employee retention rates, decrease turnover, and ultimately reduce the need to constantly search for new external candidates. Companies should consider offering incentives such as bonuses or flexible working arrangements that might encourage current employees to stay with the organization longer.

6. Offer Paid Internships & Training Programs

Offering paid internships or training programs can open up new avenues for finding talented software developers who may have not previously been exposed to working within tech fields before or have struggled with paying their way through college studies due its relatively expensive nature; providing a bridge between education/theory-based knowledge as well as hands-on experience from actual industry experts could prove invaluable here where otherwise untapped potential lies.

7. Leverage Industry Networks & Events

Companies should take advantage of any professional networks or organizations they may be affiliated with in order to identify potential candidates who may not always appear on standard job boards or through traditional recruiting techniques. Participating in local meetups, attending hackathons, engaging with industry associations as well as alumni groups are all great ways for companies to reach out directly to passive job seekers and find experienced individuals who may not have been actively looking for a new role but might still make great additions to their team due to the unique skill set they bring with them.

Ready to Build a High-performing Offshore Development Team With TurnKey? This is What We Do Best.

Why Offshoring Is the Key to Solving the Global Shortage of Software Developers

The global software development shortage presents a challenge for startups and tech companies all over the world.

But, with the help of offshoring partners like TurnKey, companies can overcome this labor shortage and reap the benefits of hiring talented developers from around the globe. Here are five reasons why offshoring is a key to solving the global software engineering shortage:

shortage of developers

1. Access To a Larger Talent Pool of Skilled Developers

Offering remote positions through offshore partners allows companies access to a much larger pool of qualified candidates than they would have access to locally or even within their own region. Many countries possess unique talents and skill sets not found elsewhere in the world due to cultural exposure and English language proficiency which can be invaluable in software development.

2. Cost-Efficiency

Offshoring allows businesses access to engineers at lower rates than what they would pay onshore. This cost savings can help businesses maximize their budget while still getting the quality of work they desire. By employing offshore software development best practices, companies can minimize expenditures by having access to a larger talent pool outside of their home, without sacrificing quality or speed.

3. Faster Speed to Market

The time it takes for a product to go from idea to market significantly affects its success in today’s fast-moving tech environment. By taking advantage of overseas talent, businesses can tap into teams that are available outside of normal business hours, thereby allowing for faster turnaround times on key business initiatives as compared with onshore teams (and you can recruit them faster too!).

4. Greater Flexibility and Scalability

Because most offshoring contracts involve an agreement between two separate entities, companies have flexibility when it comes scaling teams up or down depending on their current needs and business requirements. This freedom from internal politics allows organizations the power to react swiftly and efficiently according to changing dynamics in the industry landscape or shifting customer preferences.

5. Enhanced Quality Control

Due to increased competition in recent years, software development teams have worked hard to ensure quality control and performance standards remain consistently high. But achieving this level of excellence while working remotely can be difficult without proper oversight systems in place across teams located within different geographic regions/time zones. 

Fortunately, through offshoring solutions such as dedicated development centers (DDC), where all team members work collaboratively from one central location regardless of their geographic origin; companies can more easily manage quality control across teams working remotely towards one common goal.

By leveraging the benefits listed above, startups and tech companies can stay ahead of the curve when it comes tackling one of today’s most pressing issues – worldwide software engineer shortages – while simultaneously improving efficiency and creating cost savings.

How Can You Hire Amazing Offshore Software Developers with TurnKey?

The recruiting process for offshore software developers is a critical task which requires careful consideration and hard work.

At TurnKey, we recognize the importance of this process and strive to make it as streamlined and successful as possible. Our robust screening protocol ensures that each potential engineering candidate is evaluated based on the criteria outlined by our customer in the initial kickoff meeting. During this meeting, customers detail their expectations for required skills, job roles, and other specifics about the position.

Once all expectations have been agreed upon, our team creates a detailed job description which outlines the exact qualifications of the ideal hire. This document serves as a guideline for our recruiters as they search for potential candidates that accurately reflect the desired experience.

At TurnKey, we believe that there is never a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to recruiting; rather, every effort should be made to tailor the process so that it meets the needs of the customer.  That’s why our tagline proudly says that TurnKey is “built around you”!

We take pride in our dedication to providing top quality candidates who are perfect fits for any given role or requirement. Our team’s extensive experience helps us identify potential hires quickly (up to 30 days) and efficiently while still making sure that every candidate receives individualized attention throughout each step of the recruitment process.

TurnKey is the Most Trusted Name in Offshore Development Teams. We’ll Bend Over Backwards to Make You Successful!

Which countries have a shortage of software developers?

Software developers are in high demand around the world, but there are several countries that have an especially pressing need for talented engineers. According to recent research, some of the countries with the most acute software development skills shortages include:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Japan

Is demand for software engineers increasing or decreasing?

The demand for software engineers is steadily increasing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow 22% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. This indicates that businesses are continuing to recognize the need for talented software developers.

What type of software engineer is most in demand?

Some of the most sought-after software engineering roles today include:

  • Full Stack Developers (Front end and Backend)
  • Mobile App Developers
  • Data Scientists and Analysts
  • DevOps Engineers
  • Security and Network Professionals
  • Cloud Architects and Solutions Specialists
  • AI & ML Engineers

How do you hire a high quality software developer at a startup?

Hiring high quality software developers at a startup can be difficult due to the current talent shortage of strong engineers. One option is to work with an offshoring partner like TurnKey that specializes in recruiting the best software engineers from around the world. These partners will typically provide you with access to a larger pool of software developers, allowing you to quickly find the right candidate for your needs. Additionally, they may provide other services such as mentorship, legal support, and training programs that can help increase the success rate of your recruitment efforts.

January 31, 2023

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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