How Hard Will It Be to Hire Web Developers in 2017? A Guide to Web Development Hiring Trends for the Year

How Hard Will It Be to Hire Web Developers in 2017? A Guide to Web Development Hiring Trends for the Year

Stack Overflow recently published a report on developer hiring trends for the remainder of 2017. Their findings drew data from 2015 through to the present, analysing the options chosen by at least 200 companies for Stack Overflow jobs.

As seen in the graph below, the demand for hiring web developers skilled in ReactJS, Docker and Ansible increased by over 100% in 2015-2016. Other technologies saw fast growth, such as Azure and Apache Spark, whereas some web development skills have dropped in demand – like WordPress and AJAX.

What Technologies or Developer Types are Changing in Demand:

They also looked at the supply and demand when finding software developers in these technologies.

When seeking developers in iOS, DBA, SQL, Android and back-end web/cloud services, the demand far outweighs the supply, and there can be difficulties finding appropriately skilled engineers in these fields.

Likewise, employers can experience shortages in suitable candidates for roles involving Java, PHP, Desktop Windows and front-end web development. This is all shown quite well in the graph by Stack Overflow.

What Job Targeting Is in High Demand:

Clearly, seeking out someone with abilities in WordPress would be no arduous task, however it could be tricky finding a deft hand in iOS capabilities.

We decided to analyse the popularity of different programming languages, in order to discover what is currently happening to the development job market.

This will also help us ascertain the current demand of programming languages and roles, as well as the future of this market. 

What Are the Most Popular Programming Languages in 2016-2017? 

The PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language Index is generated by examining the frequency of Google searches regarding language tutorials.

As per its information, the current top programming languages are Java, Python, PHP, C# and JavaScript.

Top Programming Languages in 2017:


Here we see that Python has the largest growth, at +3%, showing it to be an expanding language in 2017. Javascript also continues to grow, whereas most others are currently at a gradual decline in popularity.

Another useful source of information to consider, is the IEEE Spectrum.

This is a resource that determines popular programming languages via weighing up many different factors, such as the amount of job site listings, current search trends, or open-source hub projects.

Here’s what they determined for 2016.

Popular Programming Languages in 2016:

As we can see, they rate C and Java as top programming languages.

When we consider this along with the PYPL data, it is a fair assumption that Python will maintain its top 3 position, and perhaps even climb further up the rankings.

What Programming Languages Are Employers Looking for?

IT Industry employment trends by Indeed show the most in-demand job titles.

Top Information Technology Industry Job Titles via Number of Clicks:

Many of these roles incorporate various development languages – but in equally diverse ways.

Research from Indeed narrows the vast array of these languages, down to the most popular ones; they combed through 16 million job listings from the first 5 months of 2016.

As shown in the chart below, Java is by far the most in-demand language, with almost 3000 mentions per million listings.

Number of Titles Containing Language per 1M Total Jobs:


Terence Chiu, the vice president of Indeed Prime, commented:

“It is not surprising that Java is such a popular programming language. It’s been around for a long time, runs in many computing environments, and has advantages of readability, scalability, and robustness.”

It’s also interesting to look at Indeed’s research regarding tech jobs; all of these roles will interact with the aforementioned languages in some way.

Tech Roles Ranked by Employer Demand:

According to a recent Hackers New Hiring Trends article, the dynamics for the most popular programming language are as follows: 

Most Popular Programming Languages from 2011-2016:

Again, we see Python, JavaScript and React take top spots. It’s interesting to look at the path which React has taken over the last few years, going from having a very low job demand, to being one of the most in-demand skills.

Trending technologies are a great way to forecast the future development landscape and the above article shows a lot regarding this.

Most Popular Rising Technologies in 2017:

  • Rust is created to be a “safe, concurrent, practical language.” It’s quite similar to C++, with a higher priority on memory safety and maintaining performance. 
  • Kinesis is a language designed by Amazon, designed to collect, transport and process large amounts of data via streaming. 
  • Akka is a toolkit for constructing Java applications. It has a high focus on working well with both Java and Scala, and is mostly inspired by Erlang. 

These 3 technologies show the emerging variety in the market, but also the importance languages such as C++ and Java still hold on the newest of software.

When looking to hire a web developer, both new and old need to be considered.

One unique source to examine, is Monster Internal Data. They’ve compiled a list of the most popular search keywords in 2015-2016.

Once a company grows beyond the size of a start-up, Scala is rather popular. It’s one of the most widely known languages for developers aged 30+ according to research by Skill Up, and this is perhaps one reason why.

Most Popular Job Search Keywords 2015-2016:

Software engineering and development have high job demand, and Monster also determined the most in-demand hard skills.

In-Demand Hard Skills:

  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Structured Query Language
  • Hypertext Markup Language
  • Cascading Style Sheets
  • C-sharp
  • Microsoft .NET Framework
  • Linux
  • Web Services
  • jQuery
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Extensible Markup Language
  • Python
  • HTML5
  • Systems Development Life Cycle
  • Graphical User Interface design
  • C/C++

Here, we see many of the aforementioned hard skills: Python, C/C++ and Java, Java(Script).

It is clear that these will continue to be extremely relevant in years to come, whilst holding a high demand on the current market.

So, Who Exactly Is Hiring Web Developers? 

In 2014, the US’ Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the professional and business services industry was the most popular market for software engineers.

Around half of the software engineers in the US work in this industry, with a large focus on computer systems design (and connected technologies).

Other popular industries are the manufacturing or information fields.

Is It Hard to Hire Web Developers?

Monster’s hiring scale suggests that it is quite difficult to hire software developers in relation to other digital career postings.

These scales are generated via examining aspects such as unemployment rates, average posting periods, and resumes/salaries.

Average Hiring Difficulty Scale for Software Development: 

This rating further increases when looking at software developers for mobile-related projects – we’ve seen that iOS and Android, as well as things like Java (a platform often used for mobile development) are popular in the current market, so this should be highlighted too.

Average Hiring Difficulty Scale for Mobile Development:

A good way to put this sense of difficulty into perspective, is to look at the trends for positions in key US cities.

Information from The CEB TalentNeuron database tells us that Dallas and Atlanta have the same hiring difficulty, and similar number of jobs available.

The median salary, however, has a difference of about $10,000 ($113,900 and $124,400 respectively). Washington DC pays a further $20,000 on average at $148,950, has triple the job availability, but it isn’t really any harder to hire a software engineer there.

Despite having a lower average wage ($138,400) than Washington, San Francisco is a much harder environment from which to hire software engineers.

Monster rates 8 out of the top 10 US cities harder than average to hire a software developer in – only Los Angeles and Seattle are below the average of 74, with a rating of 72 each. 

What Technologies Do Start-Ups Use?

Despite the start-up market being incredibly varied, they often use similar technologies: a large majority of start-ups will use typical languages such as Java, Python, Perl and Ruby in their tech stacks.

JavaScript is even more common – according to AngelList data, around 81% of start-ups utilise it.

Nearly all projects will need to build from a database, so start-ups will often use the most widely relevant frameworks: MySQL and Oracle are especially popular, as they are some of the best for interacting well with the rest of the tech stack.

On the front-end, Ruby on Rails, HTML5 and CSS remain popular choices – along with Node.js and jQuery.

This is for a range of reasons, but often it boils down to two simple ones: these technologies use the most of the talent pool, as they’re widely taught skills; they also are some of the best components at being highly compatible with others.

What Are the Hiring Preferences in Larger Companies?

Larger companies will seek out the best candidates for their specific language needs.

The benefit of a big company is that it can afford to hire software engineers for particular aspects of their projects.

They share with start-ups the likeliness to use JavaScript in their front-end – but large companies will often use multiple languages in order to produce the best end product:

  • Java is used by Netflix, LinkedIn, Amazon, and even in Google Ads
  • Python is also common, being used in apps like Instagram and Uber, through to sharing websites like YouTube and Dropbox
  • C++ is another language utilised by Uber, and it’s joined by Google, Paypal and Adobe in doing so. 
  • Paypal also uses Node.js, along with Netflix and eBay

From these examples, you can see the sheer variety seen used by large companies – they’re tried and tested technologies, with the best parts of each one being used more specifically than you would see in a start-up.

Google alone uses most of the ones on this list, and a common trait through all is that they interact well with JavaScript.

Once a company grows beyond the size of a start-up, Scala is rather popular.

It’s one of the most widely known languages for developers aged 30+ according to research by Skill Up, and this is perhaps one reason why. SQL remains popular, as does C# and C++ – again, because they’re some of the best at being widely applicable to a larger, interlinked product.

A lot of start-ups evolve into smaller and medium-sized companies if they are successful, and this is reflected by the growing trend of Ruby in companies. 

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Web Developer? 

Recently, we studied the prices in the software development job market. According to information we have gathered, the highest paid skills are the following: 

Highest Paid Development Skills in 2017:

This makes sense; we have seen how popular and in-demand people with these capabilities are, so no wonder why they are so high.

We should also consider salaries across the highest-paying countries -  the graph below shows that the average software developer salary in the United States is the highest globally, at around $95.5K:

At around $80K, we see Switzerland coming second. Denmark, Norway and Israel are all in the $62K-$68.5K range, whereas developers in Sweden, the UK and Germany make around $48K-$54K on average.

The Netherlands and Finland are slightly lower than this, at $43K. It is interesting to also look at how these averages stack up when experience is added:  

The annual income of a developer can vary greatly depending on factors such as their specialization, level of knowledge, or even which city they live in.

We can see this well with Ukraine; it has an average salary of around $27K, but at entry level this can be around $15K, and a salary for a senior level developer is often around $45K. 

Predicting the Web Developer Hiring Trends for 2017

Hiring suitable web developers has always been a challenge for CIOs, and 2017 isn’t any different; the key languages in demand are likely to stay in such a position. 

Around 63% of leaders in the IT industry expect 2017 salaries to remain close to their 2016 equivalents, and 1% believe the worldwide average salaries will actually drop.

Many young developers are entering the web development industry with knowledge in C, C++, Ruby and JavaScript, which will certainly have a positive impact upon the space.

Beyond salaries for newly hired web developers, however, costs are likely to increase.

TEKsystems reports that a large number of tech leaders will be focusing on particular in-demand roles, improving their existing salaries in order to take full advantage of web development advancements.

Around 50% of CIOs will be increasing the salaries of existing programming and development staff, with some also considering raises for software engineers and cloud experts.

The rise in global digital crime has also led to security based IT roles becoming more expensive.

Their research also noted that IT leaders are also expecting certain skillsets to become harder to hire in this next year.

Suitable programmers, networking staff, system architects and web developers could become 30-40% harder to find.

The Solution to Effectively Finding Web Developers?

A good answer to these challenging concerns is to look at hiring remote developers as an alternative route to your project goals.

Our recent guide to offshore outsourcing rates offers some advice – why not consider Ukraine? Ukraine boasts:

  • A Wide Talent Pool: Ukraine has over 90,000 IT professionals, with over 50,000 of these being software engineers. It’s likely you’ll be able to find suitable candidates for your web development projects, as our research shows that the most commonly held skills by Ukrainian developers include C/C++, PHP and Java – all widely desired, as this article has shown.
  • Education: The vast majority of Ukrainian web developers are educated at University-level, and many have portfolios full of previous relatable experience. English is also a commonly known language.
  • Location: The time-zone which Ukraine rests within is a really flexible one; with only a 1-2-hour difference with the rest of Europe, communication will barely be impacted upon at all. For regions such as the East Coast of the United States, morning there is Ukraine’s evening – this allows team leaders to set goals, go to sleep, then wake up to a completed set of tasks carried out by Ukrainian web developers overnight.

If you are interested in hiring Ukrainian talent when finding web developers, it can be a perfect way to alleviate many of the issues web development in 2017 can carry; even if you do find suitable talent nearby to you, they may not fit into your budget or specific requirements.

Daxx is a great way to utilise Ukraine’s great IT industry; we provide a way for you to work with Ukraine’s top web developers, handling aspects such as taxes, office space, support staff, and payroll. You focus on what’s most important – handling the development process – and have complete choice over who you interview, test, and hire.

Source: Daxx

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