The consequence of COVID-19 on the software industry
How did the pandemic affect your business?
The data shows that more than half of technology companies were either unaffected by the pandemic or experienced a balance of negative and positive impacts. Only slightly more companies were significantly affected by the adverse effects than reported positive changes.
The data shows that around one in three technology companies lay off employees due to the pandemic.
Overall, the software industry has not emerged unscathed from the pandemic, but so far, it appears to be in good shape.
Does your company allow you to work from home?
The most significant change brought about by the pandemic has been the spread of telecommuting. Most companies allow (or expect) their employees to telecommute.
Teleworking has become increasingly popular in recent years and is ubiquitous in the software industry.
Teleworking is not a temporary effect of the pandemic; it’s here to stay.
Only 16% of tech companies plan to go back to a fully on-premise model; more than 60% will have separate teams of onsite and remote employees working together.
What challenges has the pandemic brought to your day-to-day work?
| 1. Difficulties in communication
Most participants said that forced confinement made communication difficult and caused several problems. These are the most common.
- Less conversation at the water cooler
- Increased communication overload
- Asynchronous communication
- More meetings
In many companies, the lack of face-to-face contact in remote environments reduces employee engagement, making day-to-day work monotonous and less enjoyable.
Also, the lack of opportunity to interact with colleagues can lead to an overload of technical discussions, where minor issues have led to the need for additional meetings and have deprived the software engineers of time of concentrating on their work.
What did you do to succeed in this challenge?
The most critical ways in which participants have found to attract talent are
- Building an engineering brand
- Advertising more
- Offer higher salaries and better benefits
- Working with recruiters
Building an employer brand in the engineering sector involves contributing to the community. If you contribute without expecting anything in return, the result will be greater recognition, relationship building, and easier recruitment.
Here are some of the most common options for dealing with capacity issues.
- Improved prioritization
- Recruiting engineers
- Outsourcing to contractors
- Improving processes
The most obvious way to increase overall development capacity is to increase the number of internal and external staff.
Another way to solve capacity issues is to introduce agile methodologies to streamline workflows and prioritize customer needs development.
Engineering Manager vs. Developer
Engineering managers consider recruitment a far more critical issue than developers, which is not surprising, as employment is a responsibility associated with management.
Capacity is an issue of almost equal importance for both managers and developers.
Developers consider knowledge sharing a top priority which has received increasing attention in the last few years.
Time management is another top priority issue rising slowly and steadily and is considerably more critical for engineers than for managers.
These two challenges may be directly related to the fact that communication in remote environments is becoming more fragmented and complex.
Tools and technology trends
Programming language trends for 2021
Now, let’s look at the main topic: programming languages.
Java is still in second place, but only slightly ahead of TypeScript, which exploded a few years ago and is still going strong.
Python and C# are in fourth and fifth place, respectively, with only minor changes in percentage terms.
TypeScript’s continued growth was evident when companies ask which programming language they plan to start using this year: TypeScript overtook Python to become the most popular choice.
Lest we forget, the top response to this question was “I’m not considering a new language” at nearly 33%, but the above are the top choices when it comes to languages.
Project management tools continue to be dominated by Jira, with Trello still languishing in second place, but a trend seems to be emerging.
GitHub Projects and GitHub Issues have stepped up significantly compared to previous years. Asana has also seen a percentage increase, even if it hasn’t led to a jump in the rankings.
Email and Slack remain the top communication tools. While the rankings have shifted from last year, the percentages are in a similar range.
Microsoft Teams and Zoom have exploded in popularity over the last few years — almost no one was using them two years ago, and now they’re nearly as popular as Slack. Both sets to gain significant market share by early 2020, and the compulsory remote environment seems to be the tailwind.
Outsourcing development is an effective tool for solving short and medium-term capacity problems without the long-term commitment of hiring a team. Compared to previous data, the number of companies using it each year is increasing.
Only about 14% are explicitly dissatisfied, and most companies are satisfied with the results of their work with the contractor.
- Recruitment and retention of software engineers
- Recruitment of software engineers
In the software world, developers’ recruitment is a top priority and arguably the most pressing issue for managers.
While there have been no significant changes in hiring practices, some trends have emerged.
Employee referrals are the most common, but their number has decreased slightly. On the other hand, hiring through professional connections and LinkedIn seems to be gaining in popularity. It is too early to say whether this trend will continue, but we should keep an eye on it.
The primary hiring criteria have remained essentially unchanged.
‘Willingness to learn’ remains at the top of the list, albeit by a small margin. Cultural fit” is the second most important criterion. Work experience and technical reputation are very closely linked, even if their location has changed.
According to participants’ experiences, retaining employees is a more significant challenge in today’s remote environments. Overall, the schedule is similar to previous years, but the devil is in the details.
Perhaps because of the COVID-19 pandemic, team spirit has not been very evident. It said that remote working deteriorates interpersonal relationships and increases turnover, so it is natural that team spirit demonstration decreases.
And challenging work, diverse work, exciting products — all these things remain important.
On the opposite hand, there seems to be a growing number of more obvious ways to improve employees’ quality of life. Creating career paths for software engineers, increasing salaries, and offering additional benefits are more common than ever.
To motivate developers, the top runners focus on the following factors.
- Team spirit
- Challenging and rewarding work
- Career path
- Exciting products
- Additional benefits
The top-performing companies offer about the same or slightly less in all other categories and suggest that the most significant difference in developer motivation between the top performers and the average is that the top performers pay more attention to certain aspects of developer motivation.
| Performance Management
The two most important metrics are “software used” and “tasks completed” for both top and middle performers, although top performers pay more attention to the latter.
The main difference is that the top performers emphasize the code’s readability, which requires no explanation. High-quality code is easier to maintain and modify afterward, and therefore less likely to create technical debt.
On the other hand, companies with average performance tend not to use metrics or to use metrics such as the number of lines of code written.
Causes of delivery problems
There are some slight differences between high and low performers in terms of the causes of delivery problems. High performers tend to focus on issues such as
- Unrealistic expectations
- Lack of clearly defined success criteria
Average performers tend to face more fundamental challenges, such as
- Lack of clearly defined deliverables
- Lack of budget
- Lack of experience
- Lack of critical skills
Conclusions and partners
This blog post presents a small slice of data from the State of Software Development 2021 report.
We look forward to publishing the report each year to learn more about how ever-changing trends shape the industry as a whole. if you are planning to enter software development you can contact top software development companies in India.
The State of Software Development 2021 survey is a collaborative effort. We couldn’t hold achieved it without the help of our incredible partners.