Software Development

What employers want from developers? Agile, agile, agile

Employers' appetite for agile development skills is rising faster than demand for any other skill.

The new must-have skill for developers isn't one of the dozens of new programming languages that have emerged recently - it's agile development.

Demand for agile development skills is rising faster than that for any other dev skill, according to CWJobs.co.uk's analysis of adverts for software roles.

Demand for agile skills will overtake that for HTML by the end of the year if current trends continue, the figures show.

Agile software development simplifies the planning stage and splits large projects up into iterations where workable products are delivered throughout, rather than at the end of the project. It also emphasises user feedback at every stage of the programme, not just at the beginning and the end.

While demand for agile continues to grow, the rest of the top 10 skills in demand have remained unchanged over the past four years. The top five most requested skills have remained as SQL, C, C#, .NET and Java.

The number of developer roles posted in Q3 2012 is still 21 per cent below the level it was in 2008, before the international credit crisis got under way. Vacancies in the North of England continue to decline but have increased in London and the South East.

The full figures are:

IT permanent software skills advertised - Q3 2008 to Q3 2012

Software Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter
3/2012 3/2011 3/2010 3/2009 3/2008
SQL 20,960 20,046 18,279 17,284 25,402
C 14,201 15,131 15,043 12,871 18,961
C# 13,780 12,783 11,361 8,817 15,098
.NET 12,388 11,648 10,322 8,037 14,537
JAVA 9,856 8,758 7,237 6,140 12,289
SQL SERVER 9,079 8,523 8,414 7,817 13,344
ASP 8,334 7,891 7,777 6,754 11,143
JAVASCRIPT 6,948 6,582 5,365 5,343 7,815
HTML 6,570 6,228 5,268 5,944 6,807
AGILE 6,441 5,767 3,283 N/A N/A

IT Contract job advertising by region Q3 2008 to Q3 2012

Software Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter
3/2012 3/2011 3/2010 3/2009 3/2008
Inner London 1,831 1,541 1,275 989 2,015
Outer London 8,324 7,128 5,913 4,442 9,031
Southern England 6,142 5,313 4,558 3,635 6,319
West & Wales 1,853 1,580 1,372 1,238 2,749
East Midlands 1,054 894 695 605 1,521
West Midlands 727 687 571 617 1,834
North West 642 648 753 763 1,506
North East 518 502 504 559 1,663
Scotland 506 471 456 518 1,019

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

8 comments
Shriram Pore
Shriram Pore

Employers really need to understand AGILE is a TOP-to-BOTTOM approach and not just the BOTTOM (developers/QA) to adopt and the TOP still expecting deliverables in a scheduled manner. The requirements change and so would be the deliverables dates. Which means even a calculated business risk that the TOP (Managment/Employers) need to take and not push it down to the Development? Just quoting ecerpt from the blog "Agile software development simplifies the planning stage and splits large projects up into iterations where workable products are delivered throughout, rather than at the end of the project. It also emphasises user feedback at every stage of the programme, not just at the beginning and the end" Does the employer really understand Agile as defined above? I have'nt seen yet? Is there a way to educate the Employers to get this in practise in true sense? Regards, Shriram Pore

StevenDDeacon
StevenDDeacon

As long as employers misunderstand Martin Fowler's Manifesto of Agile Software Development by taking short cuts, short cuts, and short cuts they will continue to ignore source code control management, controlled builds, testing baseline analysis, user acceptance testing and training, and documentation they will reap the wind(s) of disaster after disaster after disaster.

TWBurger
TWBurger

Agile, scrum, sprint, stand up meetings. These management methodologies have value if all other project management fundamentals are adhered to. The IT projects that succeed are well planned and researched and DOCUMENTED and then tested, tested, tested. Coding is a minor part of the effort - as long as the specs do not constantly change. Agile will not save a project that is ill-planned, badly managed, under manned, over reaching, unwanted by the users, under funded, and has a ridiculous target date. Agile is a tool that can be very useful. But, like all tools, it only works in the hands of a skilled person.

authorwjf
authorwjf

I have no doubt "agile" is a trending requirement found in job posting for developers. Though as someone else pointed out, its more a management technique than a way of developing. And, I'll add to that in my experience "agile" is a management technique often abused to both put off decision making and to circumvent writing a fully fleshed out specification. When an employer says they want an agile developer what they really want 9 times out of 10 is a developer who won't complain when the direction of the project shifts every other day. Sadly, its usually the development team who turns around and takes the bad rap too when the project ends up late, over budget, and under delivered.

Slayer_
Slayer_

This article is confusing, agile is a management thing, developers just do what we are told, its the same under agile or waterfall.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

is they can quickly move the goal posts at no cost. Scrum this, sprint that, stand up at stand ups, blah, blah, blah. All form, no function.

dinomutt
dinomutt

It would be nice if the interest were driven by a desire to produce better products. But alas, I feel it's being driven more by the perception of being able to do more with less. As in "If we implement Agile, then maybe I won't have to hire those seven new developers that IT says we need". Based on my 25+ years of development experience, most upper level management won't understand it, and will constantly be complaining about having two (or more) people working on a task at the same time. I can see the emails now "Dave, why do you have two developers sitting side by side working on the same thing? Couldn't you get twice as much done if they each worked on something separate?".

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

technical debt, unit tests... We were just too busy trying to make the plan match reality? You IT blokes, always excuses... :)

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