Developers feel secure in their jobs, but they're still thinking about quitting

Developers are still gunning for higher salaries and better conditions despite recent tech layoffs and fears of recession.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Tech hiring accelerated in the US as national employment slowed.

Image: Getty/Hinterhaus Productions

Developers appear to feel safe in their jobs despite widespread layoffs -- but over half of them are still thinking about quitting their current job in search of something better. 

Sizable layoffs at Amazon, Salesforce and Meta after loading up headcount during the pandemic paint a grim picture for the wider economy in 2023, but developers appear to be feeling immune to the perceived situation and confident that they will find work elsewhere if they get axed. 

In fact, according to tech-hiring platform CodinGame, the so-called 'great resignation' appears not to be over for developers, with 51% of them thinking about quitting or looking for something new in the next 12 months. Moreover, 33% report feeling more secure now in their jobs compared to last year, while 41% said they feel no change. Only 17% report feeling less secure.  

CodinGame, a CoderPad company, surveyed 14,000 candidates and recruiters for its 2023 tech-hiring survey.

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Developers' confidence is supported by the latest US unemployment rate data for the information sector, which was 2.4% in December, down from 4.9% a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Similarly historically low levels of unemployment are seen in finance and professional services. The figures also show that 'quit' levels in the information sector are still as high as they were a year ago.

Still, given layoffs by big tech, it's not surprising to see 18.8% of developers in CodinGame's survey reported their company had experienced layoffs in the past 12 months. But most signs point to developers being able to find jobs elsewhere, so employers may need to approach working conditions with caution. 

"Developers are planning to leave their companies," said Amanda Richardson, CEO of CoderPad. "This is a wake up call for tech leads, CEOs and companies in general not to get overconfident." 

"It seems that developers aren't necessarily willing to head back to the office or commit to 'hardcore' work hours that require them to give up their lives -- and instead they're going to look for a job elsewhere."

Today, the top priorities for developers are salary, work-life balance, and remote-working options, whereas last year work-life balance led, followed by interesting technical challenges and then salary. Remote work was ranked eighth.

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Now most developers say they work in hybrid arrangements, with only 15% working fully at the office. There has also been an uptick in demand for freelancers. This year, 63% of recruiters report hiring contractors for tech work, up from 42% last year. 

CodinGame also looked at demand and supply for popular programming languages and frameworks. It found demand and supply were aligned for Python, JavaScript, and Java, while demand for TypeScript was slightly higher than supply. 

The most in-demand role was backend developer, followed by full-stack developer, applications developer, and frontend developer. DevOps engineers ranked 3rd last year, but now sits in 5th. 

CodinGame asked recruiters which positions they believe will be hardest to fill in 2023. Full-stack engineers and backend developers were rated by most as the hardest to fill. 

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