Talent Shortages in Development, Design, and More

Industry analysts continue to assert that as the year winds down, IT employment is doing fairly well, adding about 7,100 jobs in November and approaching the all-time high of 4.088 million jobs reached in June 2008.

One result of this good news: demand for talent in several tech categories. Recruiter Keith Cline, the founder of Dissero, tells Inc magazine that there are five areas where talent is in especially high demand:

  • Software Engineering and Web Development
    “The demand for top-tier engineering talent sharply outweighs the supply in almost every market, especially in San Francisco, New York, and Boston.”
  • Creative Design and User Experience
    “Since almost every company is trying to create a highly compelling user experience that keeps people engaged with their product, it is tough to find people who have this type of experience.”
  • Product Management
    “It’s a challenge to find people with experience in these high-growth industries: consumer Web, e-commerce, mobile, software as a service, and cloud computing.”
  • Marketing
    “Companies are looking for expert online marketers who know how to create a buzz of inbound marketing or viral traffic through the Web, social media, and content discovery.”
  • Analytics
    “Analytics is becoming a central hub across companies where everything (Web, marketing, sales, operations) is being measured and each decision is supported by data.”

There you have it. Your first hints on where to steer your career in 2012.

No Responses to “Talent Shortages in Development, Design, and More”

  1. twins.fan

    It is time to realize that Don Wilmont is a corporate shill. The number of new jobs do not even come close to keeping up with the number of work visas being granted. And then you have kids graduating from college that do not have a job to go to. Every day that passes, US STEM workers lose their jobs to cheap entry level workers from the third world, and Dice keeps posting pro corporation propaganda.

    But Wilmont keeps up with these bogus stories in which Dice will censor comments that put these false stories in context.

  2. James Green

    I would like to become a dice blogger, so there can be some opposing view to these corporate shill authors insisting there are no talented IT workers companies can hire, when there are unemployed IT workers with decades of experince and cannot fine work.

    • Sorry you don’t like what we’re reporting, James, but we’re not alone in seeing growth in the IT sector. Though there’s definitely more pickiness among employers, I haven’t seen a report in months — if not longer — that says the number of tech jobs in the country isn’t growing. It’s certainly true that some tools and technologies are dropping in importance, and that’s making job-hunting more challenging for many people. I certainly hear from a lot of people who are running up against that.

      Besides, no one’s saying there aren’t any talented IT workers out there. They’re saying they’re having trouble finding folks with the right mix of skills. Those can vary from company to company, of course, but I think it’s fair to say they’re looking for people who are exceptionally talented with the latest tools, can work across departments — or even in a non-tech department — can stand up in front of people to present, and in general are very strong communicators. It’s a very tall order, and some people don’t like having to work on that mix. We’re being pushed harder and harder to get beyond our comfort zone. So while it’s true finding a job can often be harder than it’s been, it’s also true that there are jobs out there to be had.

      You’re wrong to call us shills. Don’t shoot the messengers.

      • James Green

        Mark you act as if you the companies are hiring the best people. They’re not, they are hiring cheap H1b visa applicants at the expense of experenced American IT Workers. The source of the author’s information comes from ComputerWorld, which is nothing more than shrill for corprations who want cheap labor to displace hard working Americans.
        You should look a the web site your getting your information from, people are commenting in oppossition to the garbage ComputerWorld is putting out there, they are corporate shrills and Dice is qouting them, therefore you guys are corporate shrills. Do some real reporting, give us some useful information, like you use to.


        • I dunno, James. Seems like the information you deem useful is the information you want to hear, and anyone who says anything else is a “shill.”

          But, if you’d like to write a guest column for Dice to argue your point of view, you’d be welcome to. Just send me an email and let me know.


  3. It does seem like another generic “horsey-sauce” Today show, bobblehead presentation with no real specifics.

    (rant) Its a stereotype, but the best coders i know the ones that are exceptionally talented with the latest tools, CAN’T work across departments — or with a non-tech department — CAN’T stand up in front of people to present, and in general are NOT very strong communicators. Nor should they be, thats the job of marketing and management. Nearing retirement, I freelance now in legacy systems because i got tired of being a “multiplist” and then outsourced anyway. I know many people, that are cutting edge, that can code circles around me, that cant find work because they’re not “multiplists” Staying current is a full time job. I wonder what the actual ratio is between Jobs and H1 visas.

    Those cities have a ridiculous cost of living, which i am sure is another reason they have a hard time filling positions.

    • Hi Johnny –

      I don’t want to seem abrasive, but: doesn’t your stance ignore the realities of today’s job market? If I want someone who’s a great coder, and can present, and can work across departments, why shouldn’t I try to find that person? They are out there, after all. You’re right that many people won’t like it, but it’s hard to fight this kind of change when it’s impacting many areas in many different industries. In other words, whether it’s right or it’s wrong, it’s the reality we’ve all got to face in the job market. If you don’t accept it, you may not find a job.

      Thanks for the post.


  4. It is difficult to get a real picture of the IT job market indeed.
    There are many job postings, however my personal view: despite over 7 years of IT experience vs 1 year in retail sales, I still get job offers in retail or insurance agent… Not to mention suggestions to jump into industries where my education + experience is 0 yeas!!
    I would not say dice is distorting the job market information, it is a bit too far.
    Probably watch out for companies that would easily move your job overseas rather than blaming Dice in a direct way.

  5. The issue that I have with this article (and many others presented on this site) is that it is not original. Additionally it leaves out the context of the original articles. It is nothing more than a set of quotes from two other on-line articles that had a bit more depth and more complete information. It contains nothing that analyzes or validates the quotes. There is nothing value-added here. If anything, the value of the originals is diminished.

  6. What everyone but Mr. Feffer and Mr. Wilmot is saying here is true and even they HAVE to know it. But then, presenting the truth of what is the current US I.T. market won’t get you all the ad revenue, now will it? I have over 25 years experience in myriad fields, operating systems and languages, but for the last few years all I can get are 1-3 month contract gigs. Yet when I do get that 6 week job, and go to the work place, the H1B and L1s, with full time employment and benefits, outnumber the American workers sometimes by as many as 4 to 1. Don’t spout the same junk the corporations are feeding the world and expect us all to buy it. We KNOW better. And as to “They’re saying they’re having trouble finding folks with the right mix of skills”, can you say “Purple Squirrel”? It’s just an excuse to import more H1Bs and L1s.

  7. Hey, you complainers, look at the market before dissing this article.

    Just as so many of our factory, production line jobs have ended up in the sweat shops of Asia, so the pure coder jobs are not the positions that are in short supply. If all you know is coding, go to India where you could be the big fish in the pond.

    What is in short supply are those who can think, who can work with customers, who can engineer solutions. These jobs demand not that you know all the latest tools inside out and can code like the wind, but that you know about the tools and have the flexibility to use them as needed. If all you can do is code and all you want to do is to code, you are still an entry level person demanding a higher wage. The advantages of the entry level people is that many of them are willing to try new things as their employers need and they are cheap enough to compete in the world market.

    The IT market has changed. If you want to get hired, you need to change with the market.

    • Marcus Griffen

      Obviously you have not been in IT(Application Development) very long. Entry level positions are coding positions. From a Junior Developer you move to Senior Developer. From a Senior Developer you can move to (Project Manager, Team Lead, Software Engineer or Software Architect). Then senior level of those position. For the very few they can move up to VP of Software Engineering and for even fewer Chief Information or Process Officer. If you cut off the first rung of the ladder (which is the entry level coder) and outsource it, you are letting our foreign competition gain experience while local talent withers. In addition for local people who have skill sets in other programming languages that our now obsolete, if they get retraining in a current language but have not used it on a job, if those entry level position are gone if makes it very difficult for you to make the transition. I know this because I’m experiencing this problem right now. I have 7 years of experience as Domino Developer, I was laid off and went back to school and earned a certification in C# web development. Now I’m looking for entry level .net positions and only find are position that require 3 years of experience and that’s entry level. So it is dangerous to get rid of entry level coding positions.


      P.S. You compare entry level development positions to factory jobs. My first position I to gather requirement from the end user, develop a development timeline, create user test cases and code the application, prep for transfer into development and provide post development support.

      • I’m not saying this applies to you, Marcus, but What often hurts people is their unwillingness to face the realities of the job market today. Companies don’t want narrowly focused IT people anymore, ie, people who code and only want to code. Companies want people who understand the business — not just the technology, but the business — and can work with other groups, write well, go on customer visits to support the sales efforts, etc. This isn’t only for people who want to get on the management track, and it’s something companies want among new grads, too. They want to see that potential. Even when you first come in the door, you have to be able to do more than just build things.

      • Marcus Griffen

        Respectfully Mark, when I see a C# position posted. It does not say anything about having business knowledge, it simply state the programming experience you need to have for the job. Are you referring to jobs silcon valley only?

        • Hi Marcus. I’m seeing this all over. And, I think a lot of companies are starting to assume this knowledge — they may not always be including it in the requirements. Why they don’t is a good question, and I’ll ask around about that. But probably for the last year, every time I talk to someone who’s hiring, they talk about the need for these skills.

      • James Green

        Marcus you are correct I have not seen any C# job posting that mention anything about having business knowledge, below is a partial job posting, posted on Dice, for a C# developer, no where in this description are they talking about have business or marketing knowledge.

        Senior ASP.NET, C# application developer needed. on client site in bolingbrook 5 days/wk. 40 hrs week. Candidate will work with Business Unit leaders to gather requirements. Code Base exists, candidate will move application forward. Candidate needs to feel comfortable working with client to gather information needed to advance applications for the business. There is a 45 minute C# test the candidate must pass to be accepted. Interview/Test will be conducted at Frankfort HQ before being deployed to Bolingbrook client

        You must have a deep understanding of C#, ASP.NET, .NET Core Application with MS SQL Server 2005 (or greater) programming with demonstrated skills and the ability to draw from multiple projects, developing and architecting solutions in Enterprise environments.

        You will take over maintenance and feature enhancement of a pre-existing electronic medical records application. You will meet with business unit managers, end users and company executives periodically to obtain needs and feature enhancement ideas. In return, you should draw from your experiences to incorporate business needs in the application. An interactive personality with an ability to ascertain client needs and incorporate them into the application in an appropriate manner with accuracy and efficiency are of utmost importance. Moving the project and application forward to suit the business need is the focus on this project.

        Must Have Skills:
        1.) 5+ years of professional experience as a .NET Web Application Developer. Must have strong experience with C#, ASP.NET, and .NET platform libraries. Must be deeply proficient in platform level application development.

        2.) Must have strong experience with MS SQL Server 2005.

        3.) Must have strong experience with Web Controls.

        4.) Must have strong experience with MS SQL Server Reporting Services

        5.) Must have strong experience with Visual Studio 2008, source control systems.

        6.) Must have the determination to maintain and augment existing applications as well as architect new applications.

        7.) Must have excellent verbal and written skills as well as the ability to document plans, project tasks and summaries of application builds

  8. On the issue of US temporary work VISA’s (aka H1B or L1 VISA), these are issued to companies if they are NOT able to find the workforce they are looking for on the open job market.

    Yes, many companies abuse H1B VISAs to get cheaper employees. There are many companies in tech centers around the US that do this.

    BUT, instead on complaining about it, if you feel that a company is abusing H1Bs, contact your state and federal representatives and scream bloody murder! It is an election year so use your clout and be a very loud squeaky wheel.

    I can tell that a colleague files a grievance on this very subject against a very large company in Silicon Valley with the California Employment Development Dept (EDD) re a layoff in Aug. where regular employees were laid off while many H1Bs remained. I am told that Cal EDD is investigating and if that company is found to be in violation, the fines and sanctions could be substantial. Anyway, that’s how you fix a problem!