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London Tech Week, the celebration that tech enthusiasts eagerly await each year, is just around the corner. There will undoubtedly be a lot of conversation around the demand for technical talent and the impact it has on businesses across the globe. This has us thinking about some of the key findings we've seen from our developer survey this year. 

Based off these findings we'd like to share three of the biggest barriers we've seen when it comes to hiring technical talent. We believe these insights will help you better understand the developer hiring process and prepare you to effectively engage with developers throughout London Tech Week

Don’t Hire Based On Formal Education Alone

A common mistake is to hire developers based upon formal education. Many developers are passionate about coding and they teach themselves rather than go through the traditional routes of getting a computer science degree. 37% of current professional developers in the UK said that their formal education was "not very important" or "not at all important" to their career success. This isn't all that surprising considering 94% of developers in the UK & Ireland consider themselves at least somewhat self-taught.

So what does this tell us? Don’t be narrow-minded when searching for your next developer. There is a large talent pool out there and limiting yourself to those that have academic qualifications will result in lost opportunities.

Don’t Insist That People Work In The Office

It’s no surprise that London has a high concentration of technical talent. With UK developers being amongst the best-paid and highly skilled coders in Europe, although a long way from the US, it can be difficult to entice them to come and work for you. 

If that’s the case, what else do you need to offer them? You already provide them with a ping-pong table, free food, and beer in the fridge. What else could they possibly want? The answer is this -- the option to work remotely. According to our survey findings, over half of UK developers (54.6%) value the opportunity to work remotely. Although some programmers like to come into the office, almost half of them prefer the autonomy of working from home.This presents an obvious opportunity to expand your recruiting reach by offering remote working options to talented developers outside of your area. 

Quite often dispersed teams work well. If you retain your existing talent by empowering them then there is no reason that remote work isn’t just as effective as having everyone in the same location.

Don’t Ignore Your Developers

Our survey revealed that developers don't think it should matter where someone went to school or what their previous job title was, but moreso that they can get things done and communicate well while doing it.

The top three things that developers want you to look for in future hires include: communication skills, a track record of getting things done, and a knowledge of algorithms and data structures. Remember, your development team is your strongest asset. They know about the projects candidates will be working on and whether or not they’re likely to be a good team fit.

It’s no secret that there is a skills shortage in the UK. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for you to win at the hiring game. Follow the advice above -- look for talent over education, offer remote work, and listen to your development team.


Keep an eye out! During London Tech Week we'll be releasing our second report from The Developer Ecosystem series. It will focus on developer employment and experience in the UK & Ireland, offering unparalleled insights into career satisfaction and coding as a hobby. 

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