What High Turnover Means for Software Development

May 5, 2022 / by Frederid Palacios

Businesses everywhere are struggling to combat employee turnover in order to maintain their workforce. While many industries are facing this challenge, turnover is exceptionally high in IT, and in 2017, software had the highest job turnover rate of any sector at 13.2%. Years later and turnover for software developers is still alarmingly high. For businesses to retain the software development skills they need to operate, they must figure out how to overcome this turnover crisis. 

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What’s Causing the Turnover? 


Before organizations can determine how to address the high turnover in software development, they need to understand why it’s happening at such a high rate. According to industry professionals, there are two primary reasons: high demand and rising compensation. 

It should come as no news that the IT industry is currently facing a skills shortage. As more and more organizations implement new and advanced technology into their business, they require increasingly niche skills. As most of this technology is new and complex, there are only so many experts available for hire in the industry. With such high demand for specialists such as software developers, there just aren’t enough qualified professionals to fill all of the roles available. 

How many organizations are attempting to meet their demand for software developers is by raising compensation. Businesses are hoping that more competitive offers will persuade qualified professionals to join their organization, filling their skills gap - and for the most part, it’s working. Because experienced software developers are so limited, companies are willing to pay whatever is necessary to get the skills they need. 

As a result, software developers are jumping ship from their old companies and switching to more lucrative opportunities. With countless offers, each offering more than the previous one, it’s no wonder that the turnover rate is so high. 

Not every organization has the means to offer significant counter-offers in hopes of retaining their current workforce or attracting new talent. Even if they manage to get one of the few experts available, they will still likely receive a better offer and eventually move on to the next role. Still, organizations need to fill these niche skills in order to deliver products and services to their customers. So, what does this mean for businesses seeking software developers? 


What It Means for Businesses


Without software developers, businesses cannot create the products and services demanded by their customers. Even their preexisting software may be compromised if they do not have the qualified staff to run tests, perform maintenance, and ensure the software's functionality. But, even if organizations cannot acquire the software developers they need, they still need to develop software to run their business. 

For businesses to maintain their operations, they need to address two problems: increasing employee retention specifically with software developers and implementing practices that encourage the consistency of software production. Fortunately, in solving one of these problems, it supplements the other. 

In terms of increasing employee retention, we have already discussed how organizations are increasing compensation. But, while this may work temporarily, many organizations cannot sustain this investment or continue to raise compensation above their competitors. Ultimately, while compensation may get professionals in the door, it won’t necessarily keep them loyal to your company. 

Software development is a role that requires a lot of technical savvy and expertise and a lot of technology. This leads us to the second issue to be addressed: encouraging the consistency of software production. Suppose companies are able to optimize the software development process with technology. In that case, they can alleviate some of the need for developers and make work easier for software developers. 

Modern software development platforms heavily integrate automation into the development and production process. As such, development is faster and more accurate, removing much of the tedious and repetitive aspects of a software developer’s role. Not only does this allow organizations to produce software with a limited workforce more easily, but it also makes the job easier and less mundane for developers. 

While it may not seem like a significant difference in one’s daily tasks, optimizing software development through AI-assisted development tools can serve as a great way to improve employee retention. 

No professional enjoys doing what could be easily done by a computer, so optimizing your software platform can help developers focus on more strategic tasks - the parts of their job that they enjoy doing. Professionals, especially niche IT experts, want to feel as though they are putting the best of their talents to work. With the right tools, organizations can help employees utilize their knowledge and skills to their fullest potential. 

Many software development teams are also implementing consolidated DevOps toolchains for this reason. Such a tool can drastically reduce the impact of employee turnover on development teams as it can accelerate the software building process. 

A more advanced technology stack under their belt can help organizations protect themselves against the skills shortage and become more appealing to professionals with advanced technical knowledge. By shifting their focus to the employee experience, organizations can appeal to the individuals with the scarce skills they need. As such, they optimize the software development process for more accurate and consistent production while increasing employee retention in developers. 


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Alternative Solutions to Turnover


The right technology can drastically reduce turnover and increase employee retention in software development teams. That being said, many organizations don’t know where to start when it comes to implementing such technology. Plus, without the foundation of a strong software development team, adopting and utilizing this technology can seem pointless. Fortunately, there is another solution that organizations can use to combat turnover. 

Outsourcing your software development team means that companies can instantly acquire the skilled professionals and technology necessary for software development. While most organizations seek an internal software development team, external teams can actually be more beneficial. 

With an outsourced team, organizations can acquire skilled and experienced software developers without recruitment, which nowadays is more expensive and time-consuming than ever before. Instead, organizations immediately have the team they need, all of whom will be familiar with the advanced tools necessary to take software development to the next level.

The team you acquire will consist of a skilled team of interdisciplinary professionals with experience in all stages of the software development lifecycle. As a result, companies will experience faster time-to-market, experienced use of specialized technologies, a diverse range of skills, and ultimately a higher quality product.  

Rather than spending weeks or months competing to bring on one new software developer, outsourcing provides organizations with an entire team of nichely skilled experts. Even beyond the skills you need, a provider will have all of the highly advanced and modern software development tools necessary to optimize the development process. As a result, companies can produce better products quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively.


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Tags: Technical Support Services, Software Development

Frederid Palacios

Written by Frederid Palacios

Fred Palacios is a seasoned software architect with more than 20 years of experience participating in the entire software development cycle across a host of different industries--from automotive and services to petroleum, financial, and supply chain. In that time, his experience working closely with high-level stakeholders has provided him with a strategic vision for developing the right solutions to flexibly meet critical business needs. As CTO of Intertec, he's continuing to focus on the creation of business-critical applications for large enterprise projects, particularly those that handle high concurrency and large datasets. He is passionate about using technology as a tool to solve real-world problems and also mentoring technical teams to achieve their maximum potential and deliver quality software.

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