By this time next year, more than half of your software developers could be working for someone else, according to a new study from OutSystems and Evans Data Corp.

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Only 48% of developers report they definitely plan to be with their current employer in a year.
Source: Developer Engagement Report: Are Your Developers Happy or Halfway Out the Door?

The surging digital economy brings with it an insatiable need for software developers to build the apps and cloud platforms that power it. Yet, these developers are in short supply. There are more than 330,000 developer jobs open today. By 2025, that number could be as high as 4 million. The bottom line? You face stiff competition for developer talent and potentially high turnover.

In this blog, I explain how, instead of trying to attract new talent, you can use low-code to solve the software developer shortage.

Addressing the Tech Talent Shortage

Attracting new talent is easier said than done, especially when competing against the tech giants of Silicon Valley. If you’re interested in how you can address the talent shortage with more people, check out my recent blog about attracting new developers.

Hiring more developers isn’t the only game in the talent shortage town, however. There is a second effective strategy, which focuses on how you can do more with your existing team.

The secret? Use technology that increases the productivity of the developers or teams you already have. The technology best suited for this is low-code, or, more specifically, high-performance low-code.

Using Low-Code to Overcome the Software Developer Shortage

Here are three ways a high-performance low-code platform like OutSystems can help businesses overcome the tech talent crunch.

1. Retain your top tech talent

In a software developer shortage, retaining the talent you already have is equally as important as attracting new developers. According to the new Developer Engagement Report, developers who use low-code are generally happier than those who don’t, and they are more positive about advancement opportunities, support, and productivity. Why do they feel this way?

59% of low-code developers say they are very satisfied with the productivity of their teams.
Source: Developer Engagement Report: Are Your Developers Happy or Halfway Out the Door?

Low-code significantly reduces the time spent on mundane manual coding tasks, which means developers can focus on innovation that solves business problems — giving them a greater sense of accomplishment and better growth opportunities at work.

OutSystems customer, Duvel, has experienced this first-hand. IT Manager Wesly Van Cleempoel explains,

“OutSystems eliminates lots of development toil so developers can focus on delivering business value instead of repetitive coding. We now deliver enhancements in 1–2 weeks instead of one to two months.

2. Upskill and reskill

Out of the small pool of developers available right now, only a fraction (less than 1 percent of a typical company) has the skills your organization needs. Because it’s easier to learn than traditional coding, low-code enables you to grow your team’s skills by 30% without a corresponding rise in cost. That’s why low-code development teams are, on average, one-third the size of traditional developer teams in organizations of roughly the same size.

In other words, with low-code, you can upskill the talent you already have instead of fretting about the talent crunch. Low-code offers speed, simplicity, and a shorter learning curve so junior developers and tech enthusiasts without a strong development background can build apps as if they were full-stack developers.

That’s how OutSystems customer thinkmoney has been able to solve their talent shortage with low-code. “Being based in Manchester, we faced stiff competition to hire digital design and development skills,” explains Michael Aldred, Managing Director of the UK-based fintech firm. “Instead of having to hire experienced developers, we’d be able to upskill our own staff and hire developers at the early stages of their career."

3. Improve developer productivity

Because low-code accelerates software development up to 10 times faster than traditional methods, developers are more productive — and organizations can meet high development demand — with the same or limited in-house resources while avoiding developer burnout.

A low-code platform provides a level of abstraction during the development phase and the full CI/CD cycle, automating all the mundane and tedious tasks that slow developers down. With high-performance low-code, developers can do everything in a single, unified environment. They don’t need to open multiple tools unless that’s what they want. All this adds up to high productivity, which in turn fuels high-performing teams.

Sim Ko Sin — Sr. Vice President ICT of Sarawak Energy, an OutSystems customer — says,

“OutSystems gives us the agility to modernize our customer interfaces quickly with limited in-house resources.”

Avoiding the Tech Talent Shortage with OutSystems

As demand for developers shows no signs of slowing, hiring your way out of a talent gap is highly unlikely. A high-performance low-code platform like OutSystems offers the low-code development of strategic business applications in a single environment. You can optimize resources while lightening the workloads of current teams and creating greater job satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

Find out if your developers are happy or halfway out the door. Get the Developer Engagement Report to learn how to retain top tech talent.

Feeling the tech talent crunch? See how OutSystems can help you develop business-critical apps fast and do more with your existing developer team.