Over the course of the last couple of years I have noticed a trend that there are more and more companies and recruiters looking to hire someone to do programming of some sort. At first I thought this was simply about the direction the world and technology is taking but then I noticed something interesting: the recruiters started to seems somewhat desperate.
It came in different forms. There were more and more, especially small IT companies, saying they will hire almost anyone to do programming work for them (sometimes not even having technical background, never mind coding experience!) and that you only have to be willing to learn. Then there were the recruiters who would say they are looking for programmers and hit you up by email or linked in even when there was no indication of programming skills or IT positions on your profile. This is a stark contrast with other technical fields where such sightings are very rare, if they happen at all. You may think this is not very unusual or interesting but that is precisely the point – it is normal NOW. However, just a few years back it was almost unheard of.
Then there were all those smaller companies dealing in IT who told me the (sometimes big) problem they have: so they hire all these people and teach them programming skills but then those people leave for a better paid job and they can’t keep them because they cannot compete on higher salary.
This made me think: is there really that much need for all these programmers? Where does it come from all of sudden? And especially, why all of these small IT companies? Perhaps I am wrong, but the way I see it is this: there is a perceived idea it is easy to make big money fast with software and IT solutions and hence there are a lot of IT start ups popping up all thee time everywhere. Let us ignore for a moment the fact that the software and IT market is totally saturated and most of these start-ups end up creating software and IT solutions no one buys. Who is going to work for these start-ups? Is it possible to find enough employees? This is especially in times when we see a lot of polarization regarding employment in IT: I remember some years back it used to be something cool and most people would say they would be interested to try it. Now, however, most people I talk to about this are either hard core IT or they tell me directly they would not want to go into IT even if taught while getting paid and even when unemployed for a while (I am serious, a huge number of people told me this).
Something else that puzzles me as well is that many IT firms still think it is essential that programmers come to work in the office – why? Can you not work from anywhere and also anytime when you do such work? I know that there are positions where this is not possible for various reasons, but I am talking about in general, and especially for positions where clearly it makes no difference. We live now in a world of high technology with a lot of possibilities but most workplaces still insist on old-fashioned ways of working such as timesheets, working from an office etc.
Could this be a solution? Not be limited geographically and therefore hire anyone anywhere to do the coding work for you? Many are already doing it. Is your company doing it? If not then why not?
What are you thoughts? Do you agree there is an IT hiring bubble? Why or why not? If you are a small IT business how do you deal with the issues I have described?
I am very curious to hear your thoughts.