Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

The job market in 2022 offers great potential for programmers and developers. Many recruiters plan to hire more developers than in 2021 and are reevaluating the methods they use to interview and hire good candidates. But to take advantage of this favorable market, developers need to be skilled and qualified. A new report from technical interview platform CoderPad looks at the challenges and priorities among developers and recruiters.

SEE: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

For its new Tech Hiring Survey report, CoderPad and its training platform CodinGame polled 14,000 developers and recruiters across 131 different countries from late October through early December 2021. Though many student coders participated in the survey, the majority of the respondents were professionals working in a range of industries.

The U.S. was the most lucrative country for developer jobs where the average salary was $95,879, with 44% of the developers surveyed earning $100,000 or more and 5% earning more than $200,000. Switzerland was next with an average salary of $90,462, followed by Canada with a salary of $71,193. Other countries offering healthy salaries were the UK, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

Asked about the specialties they’d most like to learn, developers cited artificial intelligence/machine learning, web development and game development. Asked to identify the specialties most in demand for hiring, recruiters pointed to web development, DevOps and AI/ML. Though web development and AI would then seem to be the most promising areas to pursue, recruiters said they also need candidates with skills in cloud computing and database software.

Image: CoderPad and CodinGame

Looking at programming languages, JavaScript, Java and Python were cited as the top three that recruiters will seek of job candidates in 2022. C, C++ and C# also will be in demand. But for some lesser-known and more niche languages, such as Clojure and Scala, there will be more job demand than supply.

Among the recruiters surveyed, 35% said they plan to hire more than 50 developers this year. The percentage of those who aim to hire 201 to 500 developers more than doubled from 2021, while the number looking to hire more than 500 professionals jumped by 50%. To pay for the new hires, more than half of the recruiters said they’ll have more money in their budgets in 2022. These higher budgets may also be a result of higher salary demands by developers, a factor mentioned by several recruiters in the survey.

SEE: Hiring Kit: JavaScript Developer (TechRepublic Premium)

But to win those open jobs and higher salaries, developers need to be on top of their game. Almost half of the recruiters said that finding qualified developers to fill jobs was their top challenge. The two positions cited as the most challenging to fill were full-stack engineer and back-end engineer, both of which will be in high demand for 2022. Other positions that recruiters will struggle to fill are DevOps, application developer, front-end developer and engineer.

With the labor market still very tight, many recruiters are reconsidering the usual processes and requirements they use to bring in the right talent. Some 57% of the recruiters said they would or might remove the traditional resume or CV from the hiring process as those items don’t necessarily paint a full picture of the candidate’s skillset.

The number of recruiters hiring developers from non-academic backgrounds increased from 23% to 39% in one year, a boon to many candidates as 40% of the developers polled didn’t learn how to code in school. Instead, recruiters will increasingly turn to technical assessment tests and live interviews to better gauge a candidate’s qualifications.

“It’s clear that skyrocketing demand for developers is forcing companies to evolve and adjust so they can fill critical roles with the talent they so desperately need,” said CoderPad CEO Amanda Richardson. “We’re truly entering an era where it’s less ‘who you know’ and more ‘what you know.’ These are long overdue changes that will benefit both candidates and employers in the long run. Hiring based on skills instead of factors like college name or the candidate’s geographic location will bring stronger, more diverse talent to the table.”

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