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Workplace Challenges & Opportunities for Software Engineering Professionals

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Skills shortages, the great resignation, remote and hybrid working, continuing impacts of COVID-19 and increasing demand on software professionals have been examined and surveyed over the last few months and have identified both challenges and opportunities for software engineering professionals at this time.  Finding and retaining people with the skills needed, resource limitations, increasing customer demand and the hybrid workplace are driving changes. 

A survey by Reveal found that the biggest business challenge this year will be recruiting developers with the right skills (53% of respondents). Other major difficulties identified in the survey include struggles maintaining current talent (46%) and not enough time to get work done (31%). More than a third (40%) of software industry professionals are facing increased customer demands, and 39% are working with limited resources (lack of budget, unable to maintain software).

The Reveal survey findings are supported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which says that software developer will be one of the top four in-demand professions over the next 10 years with almost 200,000 difficult-to-replace openings every year. Retirement, exiting the workforce and moving to different occupations is highlighting this projected shortage of developers.

A McKinsey survey looked at the roles with the highest skills shortages, and found that data analytics is the area with the biggest need to fill skills gaps.

The Reveal survey also found that business intelligence and data analytics tools are expanding and growing due to their ability to help solve problems and support the decision-making process, with 71% percent of software developers expecting their focus on business intelligence to increase and 45% of respondents planning to use embedded analytics in 2022.

More than three quarters (77%) of software developers are currently incorporating business intelligence apps into their products developed for end users. The main use cases for business intelligence/data analytics software were identified as: make better business decisions (45%), understand business problems (44%), improve productivity (43%) and increase sales/revenue (39%).

Approaches to address the shortage include the adoption of low-code and no-code platforms. A report by Gartner forecasts that by 2024, low-code adoption will be so widespread that 75% of the software solutions built around the globe will be made with the help of such tools.

A recent IPR Report looked at research done into the great resignation, and came up with three key takeaways that organisations need to act on to retain and attract people with the skills they need.:

1. As more employees are desiring a flexible workplace, companies should listen and actively engage employees about their needs.

2. Many employees believe remote work options improve productivity. Companies should invest in resources and tools to increase and improve collaboration.

3. More CEOs are addressing employee well-being and trying to better align their employees to the organization’s purpose.

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