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Just 9% of the Developer Workforce are Actively Seeking New Jobs


Fewer than 1 in 10 developers are actively looking for jobs, according to Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Hiring Landscape Report, further evidence that employers will continue to face a challenge in recruiting tech talent in 2017. The data also reveals that 60% of developers spend just one hour or less per week looking for jobs.

However, the new report offers some hope – although few developers are actively looking for new positions, the data shows that 59% of developers in the UK and Ireland are open to new opportunities.

“In a hiring landscape where developers are in constant demand, understanding the talent you want to hire is the single most important thing you can do to attract – and retain – the right developers.” said Stack Overflow VP of Community, Jay Hanlon.

Developers earn 45% more than the national average

Regardless of what language developers specialise in, they can continue to expect a generous pay packet. The UK national average salary for 2016/17 was £28,000, while on average developers earn 45% more, approximately £44,000.

Communication is a key skill for programmers

For employers in the UK and Ireland, there are many new insights for HR and Recruitment teams. For example; although developers are commonly perceived as introverted and uninterested in engaging with office social life, there appears to be an appetite for change: developers have cited good communication skills as the most important trait for employers to assess when hiring new colleagues. The ability to communicate came top of the list, ahead of more traditional competencies such as educational credentials and experience with different tools, suggesting a growing appreciation of the importance of quality teamwork in software development.

Tips for tech hiring from developers:

what employers should prioritise when hiring software engineers (1-4 scale)

Communication skills 3.217
Track record of getting things done 3.211
Knowledge of algorithms and data structures 2.571
Experience with specific tools (libraries, frameworks, etc.) used by the employer 2.538
Educational credentials (e.g. schools attended, specific field of study, grades earned) 1.751
Previous companies worked at


Experience with specific project management tools & techniques 1.694
Previous job titles held Contributions to open source projects 1.646

The evolution of developer education

Additionally, developers themselves say that formal education is becoming less significant to the success of their career – 94% in UK and Ireland now consider themselves at least somewhat self-taught and 37% of current professional developers say that their formal education was “not very important” or “not at all important” in their success.

Kevin Troy, Director of Insights at Stack Overflow, comments,

“This year’s Stack Overflow Developer Hiring Landscape Report is based on the most comprehensive survey of the programmer workforce to date, with more than 4,700 responses from developers across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and more than 64,000 responses globally.

89% of developers in the UK and Ireland are employed in some capacity, and just 9% of are actively looking for new roles. It’s therefore vital that employers and recruiters really understand what developers value in a job, and adapt their strategies accordingly.”

The 2017 Developer Hiring Landscape Report is based on the results of Stack Overflow’s Annual Developer Survey – which examines all aspects of the developer experience from education backgrounds and career satisfaction to what developers care about when searching for new job opportunities. This year’s report provides the world’s most extensive picture of the programming community.

Find the UK & Ireland Developer Hiring Landscape Report 2017 here:


Chris is a digital marketing and publishing whizz by trade, having worked alongside the Automotive, Information Security and Software Asset Management sectors.

Specialising in data analysis and social media, he combines an analytical approach with a creative flair to achieve the best results. With a keen interest in Technology and Politics, Chris is constantly on the look-out for the latest stories around change and innovation.

As a lover of all things innovative, he has developed a keen eye for spotting the latest trends and hot topics. He sources and reads the latest news and thought-leadership articles from the world of recruitment before sharing them with the social media population.


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