The lockdowns brought about by the recent COVID-19 pandemic were a driver in the adoption of ICT systems for work and daily life. Still, companies looking to meet this demand have found it more challenging to find the skilled software developers they need to create digital products. One analysis from a South African firm looks at the phenomenon and draws some conclusions about the apparent labor shortage in IT.

Software development actually covers a wide range of skills and activities. Any given developer is likely to be specialized in a particular area, such as full-stack development, blockchain development, mobile app development, cloud infrastructure development, etc. Certain programming languages, such as Python, React, Angular, Javascript, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are best suited to particular tasks. So companies aren’t just searching for any developer, but an expert with the skills they want.

Because the pandemic created a higher demand for digital products and services to facilitate remote work, communications platforms, and e-commerce, demand for software developers also soared. Talented developers had their pick of jobs from around the world, with many changing jobs for more attractive locations or paychecks.

The post-pandemic demand makes it hard for companies to attract developers from their local pool unless they offer prohibitively expensive remuneration and perks. But the good news for businesses is that the attractiveness of software development as a career is driving a surge of interest in computer science education through university degrees and coding bootcamps. While job postings and LinkedIn headhunters are no longer effective for finding software talent, agencies have emerged that curate teams of talented software developers of diverse skill-sets that can be hired by any company that needs to create a digital product. This bypasses many of the difficulties of trying to hire the right developers directly into your organization in the current market.

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