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Post by Rich Moy on May 29, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Today, we launched the 2018 North American Developer Landscape. This report covers everything you need to know about programmers located in the United States and Canada, such as basic demographics, educational background, and their favorite technologies.

This year, over 100,000 respondents participated in the global version of this report—and over 24,000 of those people live in either the United States or Canada.

Let’s take a closer look at five of the most important takeaways from this year’s North American report. In this post, we’ll also discuss how these stats can help you optimize your entire tech recruiting strategy.

15% of North American Developers are Located in California

Because many of the most well-known tech companies are headquartered in California, it’s no surprise that it’s home to such a large percentage of North American programmers. Although you’d likely assume that a state like New York wouldn’t be far behind, just over 7% of respondents said that they live there. That’s quite a drop-off, especially considering that New York was the second most represented state in the United States.

This might sound like good news for companies in California, but remember that only 14% of all North American respondents said that they’re actively looking for new jobs. Not only is this a good reminder that most developers are passive candidates, but with so many of them living in California, it’s even more critical to offer remote working options if you want to hit your tech hiring goals this year.

55% of Respondents Identified as Back-End Developers

Over half of the respondents located in North America said that they work as Back-End Developers. This stat is much more than a fun fact and could impact how you allocate resources to your tech recruiters over the remainder of the year.

Let’s say that you have two back-end roles and three data science positions open. When you consider that only 8.8% of respondents identified as Data Scientists, your pipeline health for those roles will probably not look as strong as it might for a back-end role. Additionally, you’ll likely tweak your recruiting strategy to fill that type of developer job. Perhaps you’ll invest more of your tech recruitment budget on data science job listings and meetups. As a result, your cost-per-hire for these roles will differ—and as an HR leader, it’s up to you track each one separately.

Over 48% of Developers Have Less Than 5 Years of Experience

Two years ago, we explored what defines a “senior developer.” The hiring managers we spoke to told us that typically, senior developers have an average of 10 years of experience. But this year, over 48% of respondents have less than five years of experience.

What does this mean for your tech recruiting strategy? The “senior” level tech candidates that you’re looking to hire might have far less experience than you initially thought.

Take this stat back to your engineering managers to discuss. Identify at least three things that he or she needs a developer to be able to do on Day 1. How much experience in those technologies or tasks does a programmer really need to excel? If the answer is less than you’ve asked for on job listings, go back to the drawing board and redefine your ideal candidate profile.

44% of Bootcamp Attendees Were Already Professional Developers

While we’re on the topic of seniority, many talent acquisition managers assume that the majority of bootcamp graduates are making a career change. Based on what we found in this year’s North American Developer Landscape, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, over 44% of bootcamp graduates said that they were already working as professional developers. As a manager, train (or re-train) your tech recruiters on reading technical resumes. Specifically, encourage them to look past the year in which a candidate completed a bootcamp. If you eliminate candidates based solely on their bootcamp graduation date, you could be missing out on very experienced programmers.

Only 23% of Developers are “Extremely Satisfied” With Their Current Jobs

Although only 14% of programmers are actively looking for new jobs, that doesn’t mean the rest of our respondents are completely happy in their current roles. This year, only 23% of developers said that they’re “extremely satisfied” with their current jobs.

This means two things for your tech talent acquisition strategy. First, you should encourage your recruiters to continue promoting your employer brand and culture to passive candidates. But also, take a closer look at your current engineering culture. How many of your current programmers are unhappy with their jobs?

In the coming weeks, make time to meet with your development team. Give them the freedom to tell you how satisfied they are (or aren’t) in their roles, and ask them to open up about what has frustrated them recently. As you interview your developers, you’ll start to see trends that will show you how to optimize your retention strategy and keep your best tech talent from leaving.

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