High Demand for Software Development and Quality Assurance Skills Persists Amid Tech Industry Challenges

Our latest analysis reveals an estimated 23,426 industry-wide developer vacancies despite a challenging technology market

With some economic optimism starting to break through what has been a challenging technology market, our latest data reveals that software development and quality assurance skills remain a priority for businesses aiming to thrive in the digital economy. 

We analyzed the number of vacancies for “software development”, “software testing”, “software engineering”, and “quality assurance” positions at 30 tech companies which have made the most redundancies this year. In total, 166,259 were laid off during the time period of analysis, according to layoffs.fyi, yet 23,426 developer-related vacancies remain unfilled on the companies’ websites. Current data for total layoffs in 2023, stands at 249,354.

Wider reports have explored the shifting technology industry market, suggesting there could be a turnaround going in to 2024, which could explain some of the re-prioritisation of technology roles. For example, one major tech employer made 27,410 redundancies, but still had 5,437 software development-focused roles advertised on its website as of 15th of November 2023. These findings demonstrate the critical need for software development and quality assurance skills and suggest that a shift in software development tools and processes is required, while the skills shortage persists.


The developer skills gap has been well-documented, but with so many tech companies forced into making redundancies across the business, the requirement for developer talent is as urgent as ever,” said JuhaPekka Niemi, Senior Vice President, Product Management at Qt Group. “Despite an uncertain economic market, companies are still looking for - and struggling to recruit - developer talent. To mitigate the skills shortage, companies must act now to refine their design and development process and improve efficiency by harnessing cross-platform development frameworks and quality assurance tools. In doing so, developers can deliver improvements across development, testing and maintenance, and achieve quicker overall time-to-market.


The fact that so many vacancies remain open despite the increasing adoption of AI is also notable. Given that 92% of developers use AI-powered coding tools at work, this demonstrates how developer skills remain in high demand even as AI adoption increases. 


The advent of AI has given rise to a lot of excitement around the capabilities of generative AI and large-language model (LLM) tools, but the demand in which software developers are sought after remains high," said Peter Schneider, Senior Product Manager at Qt Group. "This highlights developers' integral role in innovation and creativity. Recognizing the burden placed on developers and the impact that this may have on their welfare, companies must arm their developers with the necessary tools to cope with the increasingly high demands of the job. Tools like cross-platform frameworks make it easier for developers to work across different platforms and fill talent needs.”


Note to the editors

Qt Group conducted the data analysis on November 15th 2023. Search terms inputted to identify vacancies include “software development”, “software testing”, “software engineering”, and “quality assurance”, but there may be some duplications of roles. For example, positions appearing when searching for both “software development” and “software testing”. The data on layoffs was sourced from layoffs.fyi, which tracks redundancies throughout the sector, from January 1st 2023.

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