Demand for skills in big data and analytics is driving a lot of the hiring efforts at US companies, with most recruiters seeking mid-level developers with between two and five years' experience.
That recruitment climate means mid-level developers are in luck. Some 49% of 5,297 tech hiring leaders – including engineering managers, tech recruiters, and interviewers – report they most often search for mid-level candidates, according to a survey by developer skills matching platform HackerRank.
Senior developers with over five years' experience are most often sought by 28% of recruiters, while 22% report most often seeking entry-level developers.
That preference for mid-level developers is higher in companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, but the order of preferences is still the same for recruiters from companies with over 1,000 employees.
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HackerRank finds that the hardest roles to fill are for full-stack developers for large enterprise and smaller companies. Job search site Indeed this week reported there has been a 151% increase in job postings for full-stack developers over the past three years.
However, the average base salary for this role is $94,161, significantly lower than the top-paying tech role of software architect, which has an average base salary of nearly $120,000.
Other roles that are tough to fill include machine-learning engineer, DevOps engineer, system architects, and back-end developers.
The main drivers of technical skills acquisition are big data and analytics, with just over half of respondents citing this category, followed by 46% reporting cloud computing. Other major drivers included artificial intelligence, process automation, customer engagement, cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, and computer vision.
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The survey doesn't cover the languages developers should be focusing on, but HackerRank last month released its report based on a survey of over 116,000 developers, which found that Google-created Go and Python are the most sought-after languages among developers.
It also found that full-stack developers are under more pressure than other developers, with 60% needing to learn a new framework and 45% required to learn a new language in the past year.