We often hear questions from employers about when the best (and worst) times for hiring developers are throughout the year. Are certain months better for getting the attention of interested developers? Is it a bad idea to post a new job right before the holidays? Are developers less interested in considering a career change during the summer months? With summer right around the corner, let's dig into the data we have on developer job-hunting habits through the year on Stack Overflow.
Let's start by looking at traffic of developers coming to our site to find answers to their programming questions. How does traffic vary throughout the year?
This plot is based on 2016 data but is similar to what we find year after year. There are week-to-week variations in the overall traffic patterns to Stack Overflow and a significant drop in traffic around the holidays, but any decrease in traffic during the summer is modest. The overall pattern of traffic is steady through the majority of the year.
The modest decrease we see in summer is due to fewer students coming to Stack Overflow. Users visiting Stack Overflow from academic institutions are an important part of our community, and we have explored how they ask questions in an earlier blog post.
The effect on our overall traffic is not enormous, but during the summer, proportionally less Stack Overflow traffic is from academic institutions, and proportionally more is from professional developers. Summer is a not a bad time to post a job on Stack Overflow because our overall traffic does not change much and professional developers are still here getting answers to their questions.
We just saw that traffic on Stack Overflow is steady year-round, but how open are developers to looking for a new job at different times of the year? When do developers search for new job opportunities, and when do they apply for new jobs?
This plot is based on 3 years of data, from 2014 to 2016. The rate at which developers search for jobs and apply for jobs is fairly steady all year long. We do not see significant drops during the summer, or even during December and January. (There are dramatically lower numbers during the weeks of the big year-end holidays, but the monthly numbers are not that much lower.) Developers are searching and applying for jobs at all times of the year, so as an employer, there are no wrong seasons or months to pursue hiring technical roles.
"There are no wrong seasons or months to pursue hiring technical roles." [TWEET THIS]
Summer is coming quickly, but that is no reason to put your developer hiring plans on hold. Our data on when developers are actively learning, searching for jobs, and applying for jobs shows that the developer community is here on Stack Overflow non-stop all months of the year.
Part of my own hiring process to join the company fell during the holiday season. There were some hiccups because it is such a busy time, but like most developers and technical staff, I know that a great opportunity that is right for me is worth pursuing, any time of the year.