Don't Look Now, But We Might Be In A Developer Drought

Hey, developers! Do you feel like you're in demand? Apparently you should.

HubSpot, a Cambridge-based marketing software-as-a-service venture, has started a new initiative to handsomely compensate anyone who can refer a developer friend. “If you do, and we end up hiring them, we’ll thank you with a big, fat check for $30,000,” its Refer A Dev program promises. 

HubSpot’s solution may seem like an extreme one, but not if you’ve been looking at the numbers. In 2010, there were 913,000 U.S. jobs for software developers, and that number is expected to grow by 30% from 2012 to 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expected job growth across all U.S. occupations over that time? Just 14%.

Heck, see for yourself:

Even just compared to the rest of the growing tech industry, developers are among the most wanted. According to Wanted Analytics, a data firm that analyzes help-wanted ads:

[a]pplication [d]evelopers were the most in-demand technology occupation in April, reaching a new high in the number of job ads. Demand for this talent has grown 16% from April of 2012 and more than 190% from 4 years ago.

Irvine, Calif.-based IT recruiting firm CyberCoders conducted a study of 10,000 tech companies and their hiring requirements. Their findings revealed that out of all their recruits, those who had development skills — especially mobile, front-end, and open source development skills — were most in demand in today’s job market. 

“Everyday we see the engineers with these skills getting an average of four to five job offers,” the CEO and founder of CyberCoders, Heidi Golledge, wrote in the company blog post.

If the ratio of offer to engineer is indeed five to one, that means a lot of engineers are being paid well, and a lot of companies are going home empty handed. 

With a growing glut of learn-to-code companies eager to teach customers the requisite skills, it’s hard to say how long developers will remain the golden geese of the job market. But if you’re a mobile, front-end, or open-source developer working today, maybe it’s time to reconsider your options.

Just tell me first, so I can make $30,000 when you get hired at HubSpot.