Software Development Is the Backbone of Productivity
The contribution of developers to the productivity and efficiency of any company, regardless of the industry, cannot be overemphasized.
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Whether you’re a developer actively looking for work or are just thinking about where your career might take you, keep a broad perspective on your options. You might initially think it makes the most sense to primarily work for companies that are seemingly most in need of your core skills — such as tech and app development businesses. However, in today’s highly digitalized and online-centered world, most companies eventually need software development expertise to achieve their goals.
Hiring Growth Is Happening at Nontech Companies
Recent tech layoffs have made international news. It’s easy to begin believing things are getting tough for software developers if you only focus on that. However, a 2023 Bain & Co. report showed nontech companies hired more tech team members during the second and third quarters of 2022 than their technology business counterparts.
That’s likely happening because people at companies outside the tech world increasingly realize software is a major part of their business model, too. Consider how automobile brand Audi recently announced plans to hire 400 new IT roles and improve its software expertise. CEO Markus Duesmann explained how additional software competence would help the company make its future innovations viable.
Software clearly plays a role in making in-car infotainment systems and self-driving vehicles work. The same applies to industries not always firmly aligned with software, such as agriculture. Equipment ranging from tractors to crop sprayers often requires software to function properly.
This means most company leaders realize they can’t afford to overlook hiring software developers. Otherwise, they could find themselves behind the curve compared to savvier peers.
Developers Can Fill Tool Gaps
Data from 2022 shows worldwide organizations used an average of 130 software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. That’s a significant rise from only eight in 2015. However, despite so many products to try, many companies still don’t have the right tools to help workers stay productive or keep customers happy.
Consider the case of a contract manufacturer based in Mexico with customers based elsewhere. The company needed a way to pull data from its enterprise resource planning system and turn it into a format clients could use. The CEO searched for a commercial solution but couldn’t find one.
He tasked an internal software expert with creating something that could compile 24/7, real-time data. Customers loved the outcome, and this effort encouraged the CEO to build out the software development team further until it eventually comprised 500 people across four facilities.
Creating software requires following a six-step plan to get results. Although developers largely agree on each phase, what happens within each one varies depending on a project’s requirements. This example shows that developers can be instrumental in helping companies have the most current, relevant tools.
It’s also worth noting that software developers can contribute to a company’s success by offering custom tools to meet a client’s requirements. A Grandview Research report indicated the custom software development market should have a compound annual growth rate of 22.3% from 2022 to 2030.
Customized software allows clients to address new needs and stay competitive in an evolving landscape. Companies with software development teams to provide those custom offerings have a distinct advantage over others that don’t have the resources.
The Need for Digital Solutions Keeps Developers in Demand
Software developers’ skills are continually in demand, but those who hire professionals must provide the appropriate environment and tools to keep them productive and content. That positively impacts the whole organization. Efficient workflows engage workers more, and companies get what they need with less time and money.
About 86% of IT decision-makers in a 2022 MuleSoft report said hiring developers had become more difficult over the last two years. Another 93% said retention had also become more challenging due to the “great resignation” trend of many people leaving work or changing careers during the pandemic.
However, the research revealed two things companies must do to embark on digital transformations. The first is to provide developer-friendly tools that make them more productive. Businesses should also equip the rest of the knowledge workers to take a more active role in building digital solutions instead of just documenting what characteristics those tools should have.
The research also showed 39% of developers deal with increased pressure due to growing workloads or demands from other teams. Moreover, 91% of respondents said they need automated tools that let them do more with less effort.
Elsewhere, 58% of software engineering leaders in a 2023 Gartner survey said the developer experience was “very” or “extremely” critical to their organizations’ C-suites. That finding emphasizes the need to support developers and listen to their needs. The outcomes can affect businesses from the top down.
Software Development Investment Is Vital for Growth
Regardless of a company’s industry or size, a commitment to software development can help it grow and stay competitive. However, business leaders are most likely to see those outcomes if they pay attention to what developers need to provide their best work, including offering settings and tools to help them maintain productivity.
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