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What You Can Learn About the Education of Developers in the UK & Ireland

There is a shortage of tech skills in the UK. A UKCES Sector Insights report predicts that by 2022, 518,000 additional workers will be needed to fill the roles available in the digital arena. This is three times the number of Computer Science graduates produced in the past 10 years. Engineering graduate supply falls well short of demand and employers and developers alike are finding new ways to adjust to each other's expectations.

In the latest Developer Ecosystem Report, we’ve explored how the new generation of developers adopts a more flexible approach to learning and how employers can sustain their professional development.

What does the education of the new generation of developers look like, and how can employers appeal to them?

How Tech Recruiting Has Changed Over the Years

Unless you’ve been in the tech recruiting space for decades (which, if so, congrats!), you’re probably not too familiar with the changes that have happened in the space. The tactics that once worked to fill our open technical roles just don't work anymore. 

Here are a few ways that technical recruiting has changed over the years (and what this means for you as a modern-day recruiter).

What Majors Did Developers Study in College?

Post by Rich Moy on Apr 6, 2017 12:00:00 PM

It’s no secret that some of the most influential people in tech today do not hold college degrees. Developers are always looking for opportunities to learn new skills, so it’s not entirely surprising that over 76% of respondents to the 2017 Developer Hiring Landscape said they had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

But before you start making assumptions about what they all must have studied in college, let’s take a closer look at the importance of an education requirement for developer jobs—and whether or not candidates feel that their majors helped them advance their careers.

What Does a “Formal Education” Look Like for Developers?

Post by Rich Moy on Mar 27, 2017 12:00:00 PM

When you think of the phrase “formal education,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is a college degree. That might be applicable for professionals in some fields, but developers have taken a variety of paths to learn how to code. While 42% of the respondents to our 2017 Developer Hiring Landscape said that they hold a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering, 32% of those developers also said that their education was not very important to their current success. It’s obvious that developers have rewritten the definition of a developer education. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly that means for them, and how it should impact the way you evaluate developer resumes.

What Self-Taught Programmers Want Employers to Know

This post was updated in November 2017 with new information.

Self-taught programmers are on the rise. In fact, 90% of developers we surveyed this year said they are at least partially self-taught. While some developers are still learning the traditional way (the route of earning a Computer Science degree), many are studying in new and innovative ways, such as through coding boot camps, online tutorials, or from on-the-job training. We spoke with a few self-taught developers and asked them about the challenges they face when searching for a job. Here are just a few things they said they wish employers knew.  

How Today’s Developers Are Learning to Code

This post was updated in October 2017 with new information.

Long gone are the days when someone would check out a book from the library to learn how to code. Compared to years ago, there are now a variety of mediums developers can use to learn programming languages or work to improve their coding skills.

According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, only 1 in 10 schools nationwide currently are teaching computer science classes. If developers aren’t being presented the opportunity to study computer science during their school years, they’re going to have to find alternate ways to learn to code. This helps to explain why so many developers are learning to code in non-traditional ways (aka not through earning a BS in Computer Science).

Programming: Then vs. Now (And Why This Matters When Hiring Developers)

This post was updated in November 2017 with new information.

As a technical recruiter or hiring manager, it’s important to become familiar with the current state of programming and notice the large shifts in thinking over the years. This allows you to put yourselves in the candidate’s shoes and assess your hiring approaches. Here are a few of the larger shifts in different areas of the history of programming, ranging from how problems are solved to how programmers get jobs.

Drop the Degree Requirement: 3 Better Ways to Evaluate Developers

I found out last week that a large tech company had passed on one of our newest developers because he didn’t have a computer science degree. Given his extensive background and proven experience, it surprised me to hear that such a developer-driven organization would eliminate a good candidate based solely on a degree.

As many have learned, unlike many other disciplines, software engineering isn’t a skill you can simply learn – it’s something you learn by doing. Want proof? Just look to the vast number of stories about self-taught teenage hackers or high school coding hobbyists who pique the interest of big corporations. In fact, to some developers, a formal education in computer science can seem like a hindrance after spending years learning how to code on their own.

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