The Most Challenging Talent to Hire

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According to the January Dice Report, demand for technology professionals remains high, especially in specialized areas such as security, mobile development, and DevOps. The Dice Hiring Survey asked employers to name the most challenging talent to hire in 2016, resulting in the following list (ranked sequentially, with software developer counting as hardest-to-hire).

1. Software Developer

Developers are responsible for building, testing, and road-mapping software. That means writing and maintaining code throughout the software lifecycle, including updates. Developers must also find and fix any bugs, a time-consuming (and critical) process.

But what differentiates a typical developer from a great one? Those who are unafraid to learn on the job, manage their careers aggressively (which means keeping up-to-date on skills), and effectively schedule their time have a good chance of standing out from the pack.

2. Java Professional              

As the name suggests, these jobs involve developing code via Java, an object-oriented programming language. Java can run on platforms without recompiling; it was also the top programming language of 2015, according to TIOBE, which is probably a contributing factor to why it ranked so highly here.

Next up: Security and .NET (Click below)


3. Security    

The high-profile security breaches of the past few years have all but assured a correspondingly healthy market for security professionals who can discover and eliminate vulnerabilities within IT infrastructure. That demand, in turn, has made it harder for employers to find and hire experienced security professionals who don’t already have a job.

4. .NET    

Developed by Microsoft, .NET is a framework with a large class library (known as the Framework Class Library, or FCL), useful in everything from databases and cryptography to Web app development and network communications. There’s been a lot of debate over the years about .NET as a platform (especially in comparison with PHP), but its traditional linkage with Windows has ensured a broad range of users.

Next up: Software Engineer and Mobile (click below)shutterstock_270830714

5. Software Engineer                                                    

Software engineers design, develop, and maintain software. Although many people often use ‘developer’ and ‘engineer’ interchangeably, there’s an argument to be made that they’re actually quite different. ‘Engineering’ generally denotes the creation of a complex system, from prototyping through production (and testing), whereas ‘development’ or ‘programming’ can describe anything from a major system-build to shaping an individual app component. That being said, many job postings treat the terms as synonymous.

6. Mobile      

Everybody (and every company) seems to have a mobile app in the works, if they haven’t released one years ago. While there are a lot of tech pros out there with mobile-development aptitude, the rapid growth in smartphone usage assures a continuing need for experienced ones, especially if they have iOS and Google Android skills.

Next up: DevOps and Big Data (click below)


7. DevOps  

Employees tasked with DevOps oversee the collaboration between developers and other groups, collectively working to build out a company’s software roadmap. In theory, a strong DevOps presence helps speed up development, from testing and troubleshooting to software release.

8. Big Data

The amount of information stored in company databases has exploded over the past several years, tasking firms large and small with the unenviable task of attempting to wrangle and analyze it for market insights. Although Apache Hadoop has attracted a massive amount of media attention as a go-to framework for analytics, companies have been slow to adopt that particular platform, according to analysts; anyone interested in pursuing Big Data as a career should develop working knowledge of as many frameworks and analytic software platforms as possible.

Next up: Database Administrator and Software Architect (click below)shutterstock_189550079 (1)

9. Database Administrator      

Database Administrators (DBAs) aren’t doomed, despite the rise of software that’s automated many of the profession’s tasks. Tasked with everything from optimizing software to figuring out the best way to manage and store company information, DBAs must work daily to making sure their data maintains its integrity. Knowledge of cloud-based platforms is also essential as more companies take their database functions off-premises.

10. Software Architect      

Software architects aren’t just assigned to building on-premises software. The task has gotten much more complex in recent years with the increasing ubiquity of the cloud, which means architects must deal on a daily basis with a bewildering combination of on-premises, hybrid, and cloud-based platforms. While it’s not a new role within companies, it’s evolving very rapidly, with a focus on aspects such as system configuration and software deployment. Relevant technologies include Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and SaltStack, all of which assist in configuration management, one of the key elements of most software-architect jobs.

11 Responses to “The Most Challenging Talent to Hire”

  1. These positions are not impossible to fill. This is a myth that has been created by large companies (notably Microsoft) to justify hiring H(1)(b) workers from India, where it is significantly cheaper and easier to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. There are supposed to be safeguards that prevent companies from paying lower wages to H(1)(b) workers, but there is rampant fraud among the Indian companies supplying H(1)(b) workers. Also, most HR “professionals” don’t understand what IT positions entail. They rely on crappy resume parsing programs like Taleo that exclude thousands of qualified applicants, sometimes based on typographical input errors in the screening programs.

  2. Brian Fleming

    The pay for software developers depends on which company is paying for the work. Many software developers work for very little money and are just thought of as ‘techies’ that sit at a computer all day writing JavaScript (or code for some other language) which is what you see in the image above.

    I write software for the aviation industry, and you would be shocked at how little I am paid. You do it because you like the work, not for the money.

  3. So umm..Basically every flavor / specialization of software developer is hard talent to hire? Java devs are hard? Mobile devs are hard? .Net devs are hard? Devs are hard?

  4. BurtWay

    Politicians, especially Rubio, continued to endorse increased H1B visas while hundreds of Florida Disney IT & software developers were replaced by foreign workers via Disney skirting the intent of the H1B law. Do you think those workers, family, and friends voted for him in the Florida primary? Questioned about this outrage, Rubio lamely said he did not trust the Obama admin to enforce a more stringent law. It is not just Disney or Florida workers affected. It is rampant and Rubio among others didn’t care as long as corporations funded his campaign.

  5. Please tell whoever took that stock photo to stop hard-coding page lengths into his code. Just from the small image there, changing your page size would require updating multiple functions.

  6. Tom Mariner

    The US is losing the economic battle because the tech and manufacturing sector, that got us here, is far from the most respected and highest paid. In China and India, they are honored and rewarded.

    No offence to other professions, but would you want your daughter (or son) to marry; a) a top software developer, b) a normal lawyer, or c) just another doctor?

    Tough to fill jobs, not because we aren’t smart enough, because our society lures our best and brightest in other more prestigious directions.

  7. Gregory D. MELLOTT

    If you want people to have a job in this country, there needs to be an economy here. There present process of trade is allowing lower standards (such as low wages, poor safety, and unsustainable waste management practices) to compete with us. My view is that we need a fee on products made in substandard conditions as our laws define them and take the funds and project the potential expression of those into the places that make the products we buy from them. It one makes such a fee apply universally (that is to all entities that manufacture where ever they are) it may not only improve the methods we use to address companies failing to comply with our own laws in our own country, it would express our desire to those we labor abroad that we desire them to have higher standards also.

    One should note that standards are often more about relationships than substantive absolutes. Better ways to achieve the same goals may exists than precisely what our laws stipulate must exist. So for that matter, a reciprocity of this fee method of address disparities may be very healthy that way also.

  8. Charlie

    I’m a software engineer working in the DevOps department at a big data company and I use .Net to architect and develop integrated systems so how much am I worth? The writer acts like these are distinctive jobs which sort of sums up the HR attitude towards IT positions; they don’t understand it so they spam anyone with IT in their resume with every BA and SSIS developer position they have. At a certain point, skills don’t matter much any more since you can basically learn anything. What’s most important is being able to understand the requirements that the often technically illiterate managers and analysts are spamming you with in response to the deranged overpromising of the salesforce.