HackerRank Survey of More than 39,000 Developers Finds Technical Hiring Managers Struggle To Assess Skill

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HackerRank Survey of More than 39,000 Developers Finds Technical Hiring Managers Struggle To Assess Skill

81 percent of recruiters still rely on the resume, while nearly half of developers believe resumes are not a good reflection of their abilities

· Agile Zone ·
Free Resource

Thanks to Vivek Ravisankar, co-founder and CEO of HackerRank for taking me through his thoughts on their new research on developers and employment.

Software developers are in high demand. Programming is one of the fastest growing professions today, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer-science related jobs available with only 400,000 computer science graduates to fill those roles.

As a result, software developers can be selective about where they work, fueling bidding wars and a shortage of developers with computer science degrees. HackerRank, a platform that helps companies evaluate technical talent based on skill, today released its annual 2018 Developer Skills Report, which surveyed more than 39,000 software developers around the world to get a pulse on the state of developer skills, including what they’re learning, what they care about, and how to best assess their abilities.

The findings provide a roadmap for companies and hiring managers to improve the way they hire developers and reveals the biggest hurdles companies face when growing their developer teams. While 81 percent of hiring managers primarily rely on resumes to evaluate developers at the first stage of the recruiting process, nearly all report that actually measuring skill is the hardest part of the technical hiring funnel, above talent shortage and time-consuming interviews. The most important skill is problem solving. Meanwhile, about half of developers say that resumes are not a good reflection of their abilities.  

“2018 will mark the end of the resume for developers. As more and more companies across all industries are hiring software engineers, it's more important than ever to truly take the time to understand who developers are, what they’re interested in, what drives them, and what they look for in a job. Without this, hiring managers will always struggle to find the best technical people,” said Ravisankar. “With this report, we’re helping companies become more developer-focused. Very few companies are doing tech hiring well because there's a gap in developer knowledge.”  

The 2018 Developer Skills Report provides insights into the programming languages and frameworks developers are learning, love and dislike; the emerging technologies they’re most interested in building; and how they’re learning and what they look for in a job. Key findings include:

  • Developers are overwhelmingly self-taught, proving that the ability to self-teach – not just a college degree – is the best path to becoming a skilled software developer. While 67 percent of developers have a computer science degree, roughly 74 percent say they are at least partially self-taught. In fact, one in four learned to code before they could drive.

  • Developers are constantly learning, even after graduating. On average, developers know four programming languages and report that they still want to learn four more. Python is universally the most popular language and Node.js is the most loved framework. There is, however, a generational divide between newer languages and frameworks. While millennials generally like JavaScript and dislike Go, the opposite is true among 45-54-year-olds. What’s more, younger developers prefer newer frameworks like AngularJS and React, while older developers prefer Vue.js.

  • YouTube is more popular than books for learning. The very nature by which they learn is evolving, and can’t be quantified by a resume. Eighty-eight percent of developers report that they head to Stack Overflow when they need to learn a new skill or tool. As a second source of knowledge, millennials head to YouTube (69 percent), while Gen Xers prefer books (71 percent).

  • What developer candidates value in a job defies current wisdom. In the hopes of attracting top talent, Silicon Valley companies have leaned in on perks and stock options. However, when asked what they care most about in a job, developers rank those among the least important priorities. Rather, work-life balance (57 percent), professional growth and learning opportunities (55 percent) and compensation (45 percent) are their true deal-breakers. Diving deeper on the meaning of "work-life balance," the researchers learned that developers want the time and flexibility to work on their personal coding projects. Companies looking to build a developer-first brand should keep these values in mind.

The full report detailing these and other findings are available here.

career development, web dev

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