Why is There Not Enough Software Engineers?
“The tech industry is thriving. It’s expanding almost three times faster than the rest of the UK economy and it’s nearly worth £184bn.”
Start-ups, large corporate entities and everything in between are all screaming out for tech specialists in areas of Software, Artificial Intelligence and Financial Tech (FinTech). The UK — especially London — is inhabited with skilful tech-savvy individuals who can bring a lot of innovation to the table. Companies yearn for these individuals, but there’s a problem…
The supply doesn’t match the demand.
A recruiter friend of mine told me once, ‘Shaun. Right now, there are probably two jobs for every developer in the current market.’ This made me ponder. ‘Should I make a clone of myself like that show on Netflix and pay myself double?’
Then I realised how flawed that idea would be which then made me question my imprudent logical thinking.
Speaking of logical thinking, it’s something most skilled workers possess, and the jobs they do require it in one way or another. Whether it be an Electrician debugging a circuit, a Teacher providing new-found knowledge to students, an Architect blueprinting the foundations of a building or an Accountant analyzing data and managing budgets.
A lot of these scenarios can be emulated in the software world. We have to identify bugs in our code and apply fixes for them. We teach new ideas to others and propose new ways of working. We architect the foundations of our technology platforms and put processes in place to speed up our delivery. We analyze data to identify common patterns and trends that can prove either successful, insightful or problematic. Oh, and on a side note, people in tech guzzle down coffee like fuel to a car, and these cars always need a full tank.
I’m so glad to see the ‘Diversity in Tech’ initiative. According to diversityintech.co.uk
, only 15% of job roles are from BAME backgrounds and gender diversity is sitting at 19% for women compared to 49% for other jobs. I find it so
disappointing that there’s such an imbalance. My fingers are crossed it progresses fast, and if it does, it’ll without a doubt mitigate the skill shortages we’re experiencing.
I’ve got a friend who works in London in the property market. In his own time as a hobby, he does some coding in a language called C++. He absolutely loves it.
I said to him, ‘Have you ever considered it as a career?’ His response — which seems like a common one from many I’ve asked — was, ‘Ah it’s too late for that,’ or, ‘I don’t know where I’d start.’
He thinks because I’ve studied it for most of my life and have years of experience under my belt, that he wouldn’t have a hope in hell. Truth is, I don’t think anyone would have a hope in hell, it’s a hot, sweaty and uncomfortable place to work.
I’d be lying if I said that a career in software engineering was suitable for everyone, but if you’re a graduate or thinking of a career change, then here are some skills I think are important — that can help you succeed in this industry.
- Patience — Have the tenacity to keep working through challenges
- Inventive — Thinking of better/faster ways to work effectively
- Problem-solving — Think through solutions and choose the best one
- Communication — To avoid mistakes, speed up development and increase morale
- Collaboration — Innovation is so much better when working as a team
- Persistence — Don’t let problems defeat you, keep going
- Humility — Be receptive to criticism and other people’s ideas
- Helpful — Help others having issues, even if they are obvious/overlooked
- Adaptive — The tech world changes quite fast, keep learning
- Respectful — Don’t rewrite your teammate’s code without a discussion beforehand
This piece of advice is one of many topics covered in,
‘Software engineers do what now?’
With this book, we’ll introduce you to the variety of technical roles out there, the recruitment process, the positions that exist on the career ladder and make our way through an abundance of sought after technical languages, tools, libraries and frameworks that companies seek from candidates today.
Thank you for reading! P.S. if you are in a position where you cannot afford the book, direct message me via Twitter!
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