In today’s article I’m going to answer the question, is the job market for software development oversaturated?
Are there too many people coming out of boot camps, schools with computer science degrees and just generally people teaching themselves?
Just flooding the market and it’s next to impossible to get hired. There’s a lot of people who’ve been asking me this on my social media channels.
A lot of chatter like, is it worth it? Should you even be putting in all this time and effort when there’s 8,000 million people trying to get this job?
Well, that’s what I will be covering in this post.
By the way if you’re new to my blog and you’re wondering who the heck I am, I’m Peter Mukundi, self-taught programmer.
I mentor and coach people who are looking to get in the field. People who are trying to cultivate a skill set in software development. And those who really need a strategy for laying that first job.
So, consider checking out my blog from time to time to get actionable tips to take your dream career to the next level.
With that being said, is the job market oversaturated? Are there too many people trying to get a job? Is it even worth it?
Well, first let’s break down the numbers.
The estimates put that there are about the quarter million to a half million job openings in the US for software development related positions.
So, clearly there’s a demand for software developers. You may be thinking that that number doesn’t mean anything since there’s so many people with computer science degrees!
Well, that’s not the case. Actually, there’s only 30 to 50k people coming out of college each year with computer science degrees.
So, it’s not like there’s an overwhelming amount of people with CS degrees. It’s not like every one of those people are necessarily getting a job.
There is clearly demand. And even if you look at some of the anecdotal evidence from my career and from some of my friend’s careers, there is a lot of demand for software developers.
If you can consistently produce results, that’s the key.
I remember in my first company there was like a six-month period where we were interviewing like one or two people every single week because we were trying to find one person who could bring on the team.
And in that six-month period, we would either find someone who we really liked, who we could throw a job offer at but from their perspective maybe wasn’t a culture fit.
Or maybe they didn’t see a lot of growth or potential. So, they would decline or we would interview people who weren’t a good fit or didn’t have enough of a refined skill set.
Or for whatever reason we wouldn’t offer them a job!
Then, of course we ended up hiring someone, offered them a job. They worked there for three or four weeks and it was very clear that we needed to let them go.
Which we did!
So, we ended up spending six-month of time, effort and money to hire someone and nothing came of it.
Just resources wasted down the drain. All for somebody who can come in and just help us out a little bit.
In my second company we spent tens of thousands of dollars in recruiting fees of hiring people who we ended up letting go because it just didn’t end up working out.
So, that was again interviews, time and effort wasted. Just so much resources down the drain for somebody who never ever ended up working out.
You hear this over and over again that there’s just so much demand for somebody who can come to a dev team and really produce value.
That’s the thing for a lot of you guys who are in this or looking to get into this field. You’re probably thinking to yourself like, if there’s all these job openings, shouldn’t I be able to get a job very easily!
Or shouldn’t people report that this is very easy to get a job?
Why aren’t these matching up?
Look! Programming is very difficult for people who are not coming from an engineering background. Or with some sort of previous coding experience.
So, there’s a certain threshold you have to meet before you start being able to produce results.
Or really producing value at a company.
And so, for people who are out there, just the average person who just got into three months ago isn’t even close to being able to get that level yet will probably have a hard time.
Most companies out there are not non-profit and thus they’re not just going to hire you because you have doing this for three months.
That’s not how it works. What they’re looking for is somebody who can provide as much value or even more value than they’re paying them.
If they’re going to pay 50k, a pretty average starting job for like an entry-level position, in salary, they are expecting like a 1.5 to 1 ratio return.
They want something like $75,000 in return value. So, they need to feel good about hiring you. They don’t want to hire you and feel like that’s a baby and they have to walk you through everything.
It’s going to take years to cultivate skills. That’s not how it works!
So, they need to see previous experience or they need to somehow figure out that you can provide them with actual output, value and productivity in whatever they care about.
They need to feel good about hiring you.
So, at the end of the day really all you can control is your skills. Like you can control how much time and effort you’re putting into cultivating a really good skill set.
The other part of the equation is you can spend time on really marketing yourself. Creating a brand for yourself online through social media.
Your personal website. Your portfolio that exemplifies a person who’s energetic, who’s enthusiastic and passionate.
And most importantly, somebody who has a track record of building projects by yourself.
This way they can look at your portfolio and decide whether you’re a type of person that could start doing something without having their hand held.
And they may decide to give you a shot by the end of the day. Believe it or not but companies aren’t hiring robots for software developers.
They are not hiring somebody who’s going to just sit at a terminal just writing tons and tons of code. They’re hiring somebody who can bring energy and new ideas.
Someone who’s creative and can solve problems in different ways.
So, your resume, your portfolio, your Github, and everything you do should reflect that.
If you’re trying to do this and you’re just getting frustrated by everything, probably you’re focusing on the wrong things.
There are clearly enough openings for everyone or majority of people to get into this field.
The only thing that you need to focus on is what you can control. Stop focusing on things that don’t matter, that are outside of your control.
I hope this post gives you confidence boost to know that you can get your dream job in software development if you polish up your skill set.