Early 2015 technology market update

A new client of mine recently asked me to provide an update on what’s happening in the development and technology market right now, so I thought I would share it here. Comments in the comments please:

The introduction of the HTML5 standard has precipitated the rise of the OO Javascript, Javascript frameworks (Angular, Ember) and full stack Javascript (NodeJS, Empress, Angular) developer skills. These skillsets are now commonplace in the contracting world, although developers with greater than 3 years solid experience in pure Javascript development is rare as the language has not been used in its present sophisticated form for longer than this time.  The Angular, Ember and NodeJS frameworks are not older than 3-4 years. Prior to this Javascript was almost exclusively used as a “toy language”, one to be used in conjunction with an OO language like Java, C# or PHP on the front end.  Consequently there is a large skill shortage in this area, so we have seen all the usual signs of a hot market – other developers hurriedly converting to this language, most of the supply is contract based, developers coming from overseas to fill the skill gap, permanent salaries are outstripping like for like with the standard OO language developers. Many of the enterprise scale companies have attempted to solve this supply problem by creating their own Javascript expertise through graduate schemes.

The Ruby, Python and Javascript languages are the development languages of choice for start-ups.

Some banking bonuses have recovered however most of the top investment banks appear to be planning to pay a low or zero bonus again this year.

Big data technologies continue to revamp the Business Intelligence industry with Hadoop, Mark Logic, MongoDB and AWS  leading the way. Handling data in general is a big  trend in the market and therefore we also seeing a new cadre of developers who are interesting in specialising in C++.

The internet security market continues to grow as more and more awareness of security vulnerabilities are exposed. We see this is a large scale trend in the technology recruitment industry.

Scala and other functional languages are today, less “the next thing” and are now far more mainstream. It appears that the hype over the past 4 years has not materialised into Scala pushing any of the major development languages (Java, C#, C++, PHP,  Python Ruby, C, Objective-C) off of the top most used positions.

We now see web specific languages and frameworks far more frequently on  developer CVs than previously, reflecting the general buoyancy of internet-based eCommerce business, e.g, Ruby on Rails (RoR), Grails, Django, and C# MVC.

Mention of the Agile methodology appears to have become compulsory citation for developer CVs.

DevOps continues to be a hot market with supply generally not meeting demand. Much of the market is therefore contract based or the skillbase is more recently acquired skills. DevOps generally refers to a deployment manager who can manage the deployment of  software applications onto cloud-based servers. The programming / configuration languages of Puppet and Chef are therefore hot technologies right now.

Developers based in the UK are expected to have an ever increasing amount of contact with the business that their applications support, leading to an ever increasing demand for developers with good communication skills.

In the last 6 months to a year, we began to see greenfield projects begun in the finance sector that were designed to generate revenue rather than satisfy regulatory requirements. This was in total juxtaposition to the proceeding 4 years.

In the past 2 years we’ve also seen an increased appetite for developers to consider working for a software vendor when considered against working “inhouse” for a large corporation.

London continues to attract large numbers of developers who are not based in the UK. Many of the European developers now being attracted are Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or Greek. Typically candidates from the Southern Mediterranean have strong national accents and poorly suited to analyst or client facing roles. The high cost of living coupled with improved salaries means immigration from Poland, Czech Republic and the Baltic States has dramatically slowed down. We are seeing some developers come from Romania and Hungary following the recent lifting of immigration restrictions, however the established nature of the IT markets in Bucharest and Budapest and their relatively decent standard of living means that the bright lights of London are not that attractive.

Finally we believe we are at the very earliest days of what will be a major trend over the next 5 years which is the “internet of things”. This is the industry devoted to connecting non-traditional computer platforms via the internet (such as your car GPS system to your home’s central heating system and making your house warm up before you arrive home in the evening). At the moment British Gas’s Hive product is the highest profile operator in this exciting new industry.

 

This graph showing the popularity of each programming language in the market is very interesting: https://image-store.slidesharecdn.com/9495a4a0-2db2-4245-b712-0e313264e54b-original.png

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