You might assume that a developer who’s satisfied with his or her current job is also content with how their entire career has unfolded to this point. However, the respondents to the 2017 Developer Hiring Landscape showed us that there’s a big difference between the two. While only 10% of developers said that they’re completely satisfied with their current jobs, that number jumps to 12.7% when it comes to their overall careers. This begs the question—what’s the real difference between how developers feel about their current jobs and their careers? Based on what we’ve learned from the results of our survey, here are a few things to keep in mind about what makes a developer happy with their current jobs and the potential their career path affords them.
The developers we heard from haven’t minced words about what contributes to their job satisfaction. Programmers look for jobs where they can have some amount control over product decisions, explore new technologies on the job, and work on products that actual people use. Of course, some developers enjoy these perks every day—but many others have said that finding these opportunities are some of the biggest challenges they currently face at work.
In last year’s survey, we asked developers to tell us about the biggest obstacles they face in their careers. Things like outdated technologies, inefficient development processes, and unspecific requirements were at the top of their list. It’s not difficult to see how these challenges could have a negative impact on a developer’s job satisfaction—especially since their list of job criteria is likely influenced by how they feel about their current jobs.
With the number of developers currently in jobs they don’t love, it might be difficult to understand how they have more positive feelings about their careers. However, Martha C. White at Time Magazine once wrote that careers in rapidly growing fields will be inherently satisfying. She adds, “The work itself will evolve with the times and be exciting, and companies will compete for the best people with big salaries and perks.” Considering the challenges you’re facing right now to recruit technical talent, you’d probably agree that this statement is particularly applicable to developer hiring.
89% of developers are currently working on at least a part-time basis—and the competition to hire them will only get more competitive over time. In a recent study, Glassdoor found that there are $21 billion worth of open jobs in the tech industry. For employers who are looking to scale their engineering teams, this should confirm the fact that developer hiring requires a different approach than other professions. For the most talented programmers, it’s clear that their career paths are not only potentially lucrative, but are also incredibly secure compared to many other industries.