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Annual tech industry survey reveals that 80% of tech recruiters have hired developers with non-academic backgrounds

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Report by @CodinGame on the developer profession, reveals rise of tech telecommuting and high demand for DevOps experts as world switched to remote working 


  • 48% of companies let their developers work remotely full-time in 2020
  • 52% of developers were hired via virtual interviews during 2020
  • DevOps positions will be the hardest to fill in 2021, according to HR professionals
  • Javascript remains most in-demand programming language 
  • 80% of tech recruiters have hired developers with no formal qualifications
  • Full report here

In a year when Covid-19 swept the globe, 2020 saw tech telecommuting became the norm and demand for DevOps experts skyrocket as the world switched to remote working, the latest annual report on the developer profession* published this week by CodinGame, reveals. 

The developer recruitment platform interviewed more than 15,000 developers and HR professionals from around the world for its 4th annual developer report. They were quizzed on a range of topics including remote working, as countries went into periods of lockdown.


While most companies allowed staff to work remotely some of the time, almost half (48%) of those surveyed said their developers worked away from the office full-time in 2020, compared to just 4% of those companies surveyed during 2019.


However, figures suggest any trend towards tech telecommuting may be short-lived, once the virus has been beaten, as less than a quarter (23%) of developers questioned said they would prefer to work remotely full-time.


The switch to remote working also saw a sudden rise in demand for DevOps experts, as businesses have experienced increased needs in managing their cloud infrastructures or migrating their operations to the cloud during the pandemic. 


This trend is likely to continue in 2021 putting pressure on tech recruiters. More than four-out-of-ten (43%) HR professionals surveyed admitted they will struggle to find qualified DevOps for their tech teams this year. DevOps has jumped ahead of Back-End and Full-Stack developers as the hardest positions to fill.


When it came to hiring, tech recruiters turned to virtual interviews during the pandemic. More than half (52%) of the developers recruited in 2020 were interviewed and hired remotely. 


Could this be the future? Developers and HR professionals don’t think so. When surveyed, only 15% of developers and 1-in-4 recruiters had a preference for virtual interviews.


Job prospects in 2021


The tech sector has been one of the success stories of the pandemic, and that’s reflected by the confidence levels within the developer community about their job prospects in 2021.


Programmers were asked how easy they thought it would be to change jobs in 2021, on a scale from 1-10. Confidence was reasonably high, with respondents scoring seven on average, the same as in 2020. 


When it comes to programming languages, Javascript continues to be the most sought-after by recruiters, followed by Java and Python. Six-out-of-ten (60%) recruiters say they have strong demand for these three languages.


There has also been a shift away from companies only hiring developers with formal qualifications, such as a computer science degree from a top university. 


The majority (80%) of HR professionals interviewed said they have recruited developers who are self taught, and didn’t learn to code at school or university. Almost a quarter (24%) of recruiters said they regularly hire developers without a formal qualification in programming.


That will be encouraging news for the growing number of coders who are self-taught, and learnt to code by accessing the free resources available to them such as online tutorials, reference books and training platforms such as CodinGame.


Aude Barral, co-founder of developer recruitment platform CodinGame, comments: 


“Our latest report on the developer profession highlights the rise of telecommuting and virtual hiring in 2020 and the strong demand for DevOps experts as businesses adapted to working in the cloud. Although Covid has largely been behind this shift, it will be interesting to see if these trends continue in 2021. 


“We’ve also seen more tech recruiters hiring developers who haven’t followed the traditional academic route. A computer science degree is no longer a must-have if you want a career as a programmer. 


“With the wealth of online and offline resources available to everyone, coders of all levels of technical competence can improve their programming skills, opening up job opportunities in the booming tech sector.”


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