Most software developers have thought about quitting this year. Here's why

Salaries are only half the equation when it come to retaining skilled tech talent.
Written by Owen Hughes, Senior Editor
Image: Getty Images

Almost nine in 10 software and DevOps professionals have either quit or considered quitting their job during the past 12 months, a new industry report suggests.

The results from Uniting Cloud's Software Engineer and DevOps Industry Report 2022 found that 50% of developers and DevOps professionals have moved roles in the last year. Of the 50% who have not moved roles, 71% had considered doing do.

Of the 400 UK software developers and DevOps professionals surveyed by Uniting Cloud, just 13% had not considered quitting their job for a new role – meaning 87% of tech professionals have either changed jobs in the past year of thought about doing so.

The survey once again highlights the challenges employers face retaining technology staff as hiring competition escalates.

Reasons for quitting given by respondents included taking advantage of high salaries and benefits packages being offered by employers in return for in-demand tech skills, as well as a reluctance to return to the office.

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Survey respondents said they would expect to see a 21.5% increase in salary as a result of moving to a new role. According to Uniting Cloud's data, software engineers with 3-5 years of experience can expect a salary averaging up to £64,000, while professionals with both experience in both software development and DevOps can land a salary of up to £84,000.

"Seasoned" professionals with 6-10 years of experience and skills in both software engineering and DevOps see an average base salary of £97,000 – while professionals with the same years of experience in software development alone can expect £82,000.

Uniting Cloud said programming languages Python and Go were "on a huge upward trajectory" in terms of demand, though added that "older skills, like HTML and CSS are not going away anything soon."

Tom Sillitto, head of DevOps at Uniting Cloud, warned employers had to think beyond pay if they hoped to attract and retain talent in a pressurized tech-hiring market.

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"Not only is demand increasing for professionals with skills across development and DevOps, the number of roles available vastly outweighs the number of professionals in the field, and competition is at its peak," said Sillitto.

"To land premium experience won't just be a case of paying a higher salary but considering a whole package where career aspirations can be met alongside a rewarding benefits package."

Asides from pay, flexibility ranked high in software professionals' list of job must-haves.

Just over half (51%) of respondents said the option to work from home was the most important job benefit, followed by career progression (14%), flexible working hours (10%), a four-day workweek (6%), and health insurance (5%).

Overall, 85% of respondents said remote working was important to them. Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they were currently working remotely five days a week, the second most popular arrangement being three days (15%).

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