If you’re an IT manager or IT leader, you are probably well aware of the tech talent shortage. You are likely to be wondering how you can keep your developers engaged while attracting new talent. In this blog post, we’ll explore the results from a new report by OutSystems and Evans Data Corp, Developer Engagement: Are Your Developers Happy or Halfway Out the Door?, where over 800 developers from all over the world shared their insights on what keeps them motivated to help organizations close the talent gap and achieve their goals for 2023.

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Long gone are the days when organizations were solely software consumers. With the market constantly changing and disruptive forces impacting the world as we know it, organizations are being pushed to become software producers. And not just any old software, either. It has to be differentiating, unique, and capable of delivering experiences that delight customers and employees.

But according to IDC, in 2021, there was already a 10% shortage of full-time developers, and predictions are not optimistic. The forecast is for the dev shortage to reach 20% by 2025.

In these troubled talent times, cutting edge, elite, and “hip” tech giants like Google and Amazon have the upper hand with their deeper pockets and their ability to foster innovation. Most devs want to work for them, so they have the opportunity to hire top talent. But for the rest of the world, the tech talent shortage is real. Without easy access to talent, organizations must try to do their best to limp along with legacy systems and lose the opportunity to produce differentiating software.

So, how can these organizations compete against Big Tech in attracting and retaining tech talent?

Closing the Tech Talent Gap: Key Findings from the Developer Engagement Report

One of the most striking findings from the Developer Engagement report is that although the majority of developers love their jobs (64%), only 48% “definitely plan” to be with their current employer in one year — and that percentage falls to 29% when looking two years out.

Time that developers will definitely stay with their current employer.

With many employees working remotely by choice, retaining talent has become more complex as financial benefits and “fun” perks in the office are not enough to attract developers. According to our survey, 42% of respondents were confident that they could easily find a better job right now based on the sheer number of job opportunities.

So, developers need a better reason to stay.

When asked what would keep them motivated, they answered:

  • Better work-life balance (50%)
  • Better salary (28%)
  • Better team staffing (29%).

“Should I Stay or Should I Go?” What You Can Do to Retain Devs

While not every organization can afford large salary increases or embrace a four-day workweek, there are things leaders can do to keep their teams engaged. Simply helping your developers feel more productive or in control of their workload could be the key to retaining your top performers and creating a culture where developers want to stay. Developers are not shy about indicating what can give them those feelings of productivity and control.

For example, developers made it clear that they are more likely to stay in a company when they perceive that expectations from the business are realistic and achievable. In light of high demands from the business, this is an opportunity for leaders to find ways to support their teams perhaps with more communication and more prototyping and collaboration across IT and business.

A very interesting reveal from the survey was the marked differences in the job satisfaction of developers based on which tools they are using — with interesting feedback about the role low-code can play in addressing common developer pain points.

Retaining “Low-Code Developers” vs. Traditional Developers: Who Wins?

Organizations have been adopting low-code technology to boost the productivity of their developers. So, what has been the impact? The survey data not only shows that they enjoy the benefits of low-code, but also that using low-code correlates with what developers identified to be critical to keeping them motivated:

  • Developers who use low-code are much more likely to report high satisfaction about their tools than traditional developers (57% vs. 36%).
  • 49% of respondents strongly agreed that low-code improves creativity.
  • 50% of developers surveyed said low-code improves the quality of apps.
  • Despite having significantly smaller development teams, low-code developers are more satisfied with the size of their teams.
  • Low-code developers have been promoted an average of 3.5 times at their company compared to 2 times for their traditional developer colleagues.

No More Troubled Waters: Bridging the Talent Gap

Bridging the tech talent gap is crucial to meeting the agility and adaptability demands in this era of “digital urgency.” But, the global tech talent shortage is not expected to disappear anytime soon.

Our report shows that organizations need to promote a culture that keeps their developers motivated. In this blog post, we covered a few of the most striking results from our survey. But you don’t want to miss even more exclusive insights on what developers from different generations, genders, and technology consider their top priorities and possible call to action to keep your team satisfied. Get your free copy of the Developer Engagement Report: Are Your Developers Happy or Halfway Out the Door?