Mendix 2020 Software Developer Drought Index Reveals Unexpected Hiring Hotspots and a Changing US Map of Tech Talent Scarcity and Needs

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Despite COVID-19, states in the US heartland are actively hiring developers. Meanwhile, professionals on the coasts are reassessing work-life opportunities and exploring start-up opportunities outside Silicon Valley and other tech hotspots

Eight out of 10 US counties with the highest “Developer Demand” shortage are in states in the middle of America, such as South Dakota, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Utah, and Mississippi

92% of job ads on three leading sites for software developers in July/August were for specific locations, showing employers are slow to embrace remote working opportunities

Mendix, a Siemens business and global leader in low-code application development for the enterprise, announced the launch of the ‘Mendix Software Developer Drought Index,’ which reveals where the hiring shortage is most critical for developers at a U.S. county and state level.

An analysis of over three million U.S. households (American Community Survey), combined with a detailed geo-analysis of over 2,000 job ads for U.S. software developers in July 2020 revealed new patterns spotlighting areas of the highest demand, but with the least supply of software developers nationally. On a state level, the gap between supply and demand is most significant in middle America, with some exceptions. At a county level, the highest Developer Demand is in Cumberland County, NJ (outside Philadelphia), Minnehaha County, SD (Sioux Falls), and Pontotoc County, MS(Tupelo). Well-known tech hubs such as Fairfax, Virginia, and Silicon Valley, California, have a better balance – these areas have the highest demand, but also the highest supply of talent. (See below for geographical information).

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These findings reveal opportunities for companies and individuals to decentralize talent away from established tech hubs using virtual teams and cloud technology. As firms move to outer locations with lower office/home rents, we might expect U.S. tech talent to relocate to these new hotspots of tech growth and start-up innovation — reinforced by recent migration away from dense urban centers during the COVID-19 crisis.

However, tech companies offering jobs in Developer Drought locations must also consider the recent acceleration towards remote working, prompted by COVID-19. Google recently announced an extension of home working for its employees until July 2021, and Facebook has said that it would allow many employees to work from home permanently. Yet surprisingly, 92% of the job ads analyzed required a specific location. While industry leaders are reassessing the remote work landscape, other tech companies are slower to adjust to new post-pandemic realities.

Companies located in or moving to Developer Drought locations may have an increased interest in software solutions that can bridge the tech talent gap. For example, low-code solutions can democratize and speed up software development by empowering staff who do not have  specialized coding expertise, and are not in the IT department, to build software solutions.

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