Developer jobs: These are the coders who are most in demand

If you're a mid-level developer with about four years' experience, your job prospects look pretty good right now.

Developer: Go, Scala and Ruby skills are in demand

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.

SEE: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF)

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. 

HackerRank argues that full-stack developer posts may be hard to fill because it's so difficult to define the role, which requires that the candidate has knowledge across back-end and front-end software development spanning browser languages like JavaScript to server software languages such as Python, Node.js, C-languages, and database technologies. 

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.

SEE: New programming language rankings: Python now as popular as Java, as TypeScript climbs

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. 

Other languages developers highly desired are the Java-compatible Kotlin, Microsoft's Typescript for large-scale JavaScript programs, and R, a popular language among data scientists. 

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. 


HackerRank finds that the hardest roles to fill are for full-stack developers, regardless of company size.  

Image: HackerRank