Finding a Software Engineering Role in 2021

Overview

This article is an extension of my previous article about how the effects of the global pandemic and the growing economic crisis have shifted the job market for junior developers. This article will go over the changes brought about by the new administration and the shift in growing essential industries and will ultimately act as a job seeking guide. As we embark on a new year of changes and hopes, job seekers are becoming more enthusiastic about what’s to come in the near future. It’s predicted that by the end of this year, there will be over 1.4M unfilled Computer Science roles in the United States market alone (DAXX).

Junior Level Roles

Although this may seem like great news to upcoming and graduating developers, unfortunately, due to the extreme saturation in graduating junior engineers, companies are looking to fill mid-to-senior level roles which most of the current unemployed development population is underqualified to fill. The shortage in Junior developer roles also has to do with the economic shortage and companies unable or unwilling to invest money in upcoming talent. Why not just get someone with hands-on experience as opposed to taking a risk during a global economic crisis? Well, there are many reasons. The main reason is that the so-called “shortage” in CS jobs is created through the unbalanced experience threshold created by this effect. Luckily, All hope is not lost! Many employers, such as Shopify, have made a 2021 initiative to nearly doubling their engineering team to over 2021 software developers. You can read more about this here. There are also many benefits that companies can reap from hiring new Developers such as a new, fresh perspective and knowledge of modern frameworks and technologies. Let’s delve deeper into the booming industries and where to focus your job-seeking efforts in the next year.

The Shift in The Industry

As we shift to a whole new socially distanced world, many companies have shifted to a fully e-commerce based platform yielding new growth in the industries such as online retail, health care, IT services, and R&D (Techbeacon). Though we have seen an overall decrease in job postings across all industries, the most in-demand roles of 2020 and the 1st quarter of 2021 are Software Engineering Roles. The breakdown goes as follows:

For entry-level roles, the main qualifications are- B.S Degree in CS or related field, problem-solving skills, knowledge of databases and algorithms, and involvement in personal or open-source projects. I can’t stress this enough, keep those CS skills sharp and ready! The next opportunity can be right around the corner.

New Administration, New Me

In addition to the shift brought about by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the recent transition in the United States presidency and Congress is predicted to have a great impact on the Environmental sector. This is great news for Software Developers looking to go into Greentech and sustainable technologies and will open up many opportunities in the field of Artificial intelligence related to renewable energy (SHRM). This will benefit the 2.4% growth in Software Engineering roles which took a hit in the global pandemic by 1.6% (Developer Population Study). The new administration has also pushed for equal representation in the workplace, a much-needed step moving into the new year!

Finding Your Next Role

Job posting platforms are the main source most developers look to when searching for Software Engineering roles but due to the fact that we are currently at the beginning of the 1st quarter of the calendar year, developers are better off contacting company employees directly or through internal referral. According to SHRM, internal referrals remain the number one source for employment offers in the United States with 72% of individuals in their intensive study obtaining employment through internal referral (SHRM). Next time you are on the hunt for that next perfect opportunity, contact companies you want to work for directly as opposed to sending your resume into the deep void of job applications.

Resources

For the sake of simplicity and to ensure that I’m not just throwing all types of resources at you, I’ll be limiting the recommendations to two for each category.

  1. Database and Algorithm Practice- Employers are utilizing HackRank directly for algorithm interview questions. Additionally, Leetcode offers hundreds of different algorithm questions asked by employers and is constantly being updated.
  2. Job Postings- My favorite places to search for positions are LinkedIn and Indeed. I prefer LinkedIn since it allows you to view the recruiter/manager in charge of the job listing that way you can reach out directly.
  3. Furthering Your Knowledge- Checkout free Youtube tutorials and Udemy courses for interesting subject matters. Make sure you get through the entire Udemy course prior to going on a spending spree (trust me, we’ve all been there).

Summary

Overall, the key elements to any successful job seeker is consistency, commitment, and maintaining/improving knowledge. The future is looking bright for Software Developers, especially those who know how to make the most of their time.

Software Engineer focused on Full Stack development with MERN stack and Ruby experience. Interested in sharing my learning journey with aspiring developers.