IT Skills Gap Survey: Growing Developer Shortage Felt by 64 Percent of Businesses

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By: Jacqueline Lee |

Sixty-four percent of businesses surveyed by Cloud Foundry report a scarcity of developers with the skill sets their companies need, reports InformationWeek. Over half said the developer shortage had made it tough to attract and retain talented developers, and many IT leaders are choosing to train existing workers rather than look to the open market.

Sixty-two percent of leaders say they’re confident that they can train current employees to overcome talent gaps, but only 47 percent of developers feel they can keep up with changes in the profession. Additionally, organizations that are hiring tend to seek applicants with highly specialized skill sets, which may work against them as applications become cloud native.

Everything Is a Service

Sam Ramji, Cloud Foundry CEO, told last year’s Open Source Convention (OSCON) that he expects applications of the future to be assembled from standardized components. Components will live in containers and be networked together as various applications need them.

Virtualization decouples hardware services from the assets that perform each service. It helps IT get more workloads with less power consumption by its machines, gives them flexibility when allocating resources and helps them respond quickly to elastic demand.

Cloud-native applications, according to InformationWeek, exist as microservices broken down into different containers. In the same way that virtualization separates functions from the underlying infrastructure, cloud-native applications pull their components from a pool of predictive software stacks. Components can be shared and flexibly allocated, much like resources within a data center.

Prepping for an Open-Source Future

Ramji says cloud-native applications rely largely on open-source code, but competition should deter companies from letting go of their proprietary advantages. Because businesses demand fast deployment, however, the overall project becomes more important than proprietary ownership, and applications that refuse to be open with code find themselves losing ground.

On the one hand, this availability of standardized pieces could benefit businesses that, due to the developer shortage, depend on existing staff to assemble applications for their customers. When it comes to future hiring, though, Cloud Foundry argues companies should keep the open-source path in mind and recruit developers with a more global skill set.

By focusing on specializations like mobile development, certain programming languages and specific infrastructure deployments — instead of broad skills like continuous integration, continuous delivery or test-driven development — businesses may be hiring developers who aren’t prepared for the applications of the future.

Developer Shortage Stands Out in Legacy-Reliant Organizations

The Cloud Foundry report found that organizations still early in their cloud transition felt the developer shortage most keenly. The report hypothesized that companies further along in their cloud journeys had more risk-tolerant environments and were more open to new ideas, which made them especially appealing to skilled developers.

Top talent may not want to work with legacy architectures or in organizations that aren’t pushing the envelope. This preference could create even tougher challenges for organizations already behind the cloud curve. Government, manufacturing and business services, according to the report, are the most likely to experience fallout from the developer shortage.

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About The Author

Jacqueline Lee

Freelance Writer

Jacqueline Lee specializes in business and technology writing, drawing on over 10 years of experience in business, management and entrepreneurship. Currently, she blogs for HireVue and IBM, and her work on behalf of client brands has appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine. In addition to writing, Jackie works as a social media manager and freelance editor. She's a member of the American Copy Editors Society and is completing a certificate in editing from the Poynter Institute.

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