Nowadays, the IT industry is in another crisis. This time though, it hit the pocket of the company’s top management, and not the ordinary developer’s salary . Due to the pandemic, businesses lined up for developers, which led to the IT labor shortage and a sharp increase in the working hour costs. But the salary fever is not the only symptom that the coronavirus has “awarded” the IT industry.
Businesses have revived and tightened their belts….
Experts on the Internet have been riding the IT industry on the predictions swings for a year now. When the coronavirus only knocked down tourism, restaurants and banks, the first predictions of the developers imminent death from hunger appeared on the Web. According to their thoughts, customers would not survive, and we would be closing projects, cutting salaries, firing the bench.
Nowadays, the opposite is true: businesses have revived, tightened their belts and incurred money to create websites, automated systems and mobile applications. And it was then that curious streams began to appear on Youtube, where the words “bad” and “everything is lost” no longer sound. Instead, experts say “normal”, “big money” and “development trend”.
A rather interesting online discussion recently took place in this vein, in which business angel from Silicon Valley Leonid Igolnik, ex-HR Director Viber Marina Khomich, CTO Office Global Logic Orkhan Gasimov and Express42 Managing Partner Alexander Titov took part. And one could have passed by another honest conversation on Youtube, if not for a few highlights and comments on the case.
“There was a big flow of money …”
Currently, the pandemic in IT industry is no longer viewed as a source of problems for business, but as an industrial kick to the whole world. Like, every recession (there have already been many) accelerates the industrial revolution in the sector.
— At first, everyone really prophesied that there would be fewer business tasks for developers, we would earn less. As a result, it turned out that over the year and a half of the pandemic, IT companies have only grown. The reason is that working remotely in almost any business involves software usage, says CTO Office Global Logic Orkhan Gasimov.
— Therefore, many IT companies, both product and outsourcing, received new orders and were able to grow. Even large corporations have started pouring a lot of money into software development. They have just noticed a market trend where the business is doing more or less well. And nowadays there is a really huge money flow that hasn’t been there before. So IT companies, instead of surviving, began to actively develop, Orkhan notes.
“The industrial revolution, in which everyone found themselves …”
— Indeed, the IT business is growing. Moreover, thanks to the pandemic, businesses that hadn’t been acquainted with the IT industry began to learn about new technologies and opportunities, Alexander Titov adds to the topic.
— For me, the key memory of last year is how an offline store owner went online and received a monthly revenue. At that moment, the person realized that he had previously developed his business not very efficiently. And such events in the industry occur all the time.
The IT sphere itself is being restructured, many companies are becoming more product-oriented. And if earlier the corporate IT business performed more supporting functions, now the market is focused on software products and solutions. The business structure itself is changing. Thanks to the pandemic, the industrial revolution happened in the world. Moreover, all companies and all people in the world turned out to be in it.
Home office with sea view
— Due to the pandemic, companies have faced very strange things,” Alexander Titov continues. — I know a story when work related letters were written to a person, but he moved to another country and did not tell anyone. They were trying to reached him, but he wasn’t there. And it was impossible to fire him, because he was on the staff and transferred to remote work. And there are a lot of such examples, as it turned out, HR is not ready for the fact that people can simply leave. That they will leave without even notifying anyone. And suddenly it turns out that the workers have fled to different countries. Our company is small, but many employees have changed locations over the past year. One of the reasons for leaving is the high rental rates in large cities. Currently, we are in search of a happy medium, in combining asynchronous and synchronous work.
Those who can’t work from home will return to the office
Until a few months ago, many in the IT industry believed they could bring developers back to the office. But it turned out that the developers skillfully took advantage of the lockdowns and, for example, changed their residence places in order to save on taxes and real estate. The personnel “home migration” process, according to Leonid Igolnik, is now observed in Silicon Valley and throughout America. Therefore, the IT business owners , if there is anything left to count on, should expect a small number of employees to come back to the offices.
— I think that IT companies will come to the “golden” office work format, when employees will attend the office 2-3 days a week, and work from home the rest of the time. But I wonder how this format will affect outsourcing companies, because even North American companies are starting to “scatter” all over the states to new cities where many people from Silicon Valley have migrated. After all, if earlier hiring employees was tied to specific regions, now the rules have been simplified, and people are looking for an opportunity to save on real estate and local taxes, says Leonid Igolnik.
Experts believe that employees with low productivity will be the first to return to the offices, for whom it is difficult to work independently or for whom various factors prevent them from achieving high results in their work.
Ex-HR Director of Viber Marina Khomich says that some, even very productive developers, are ready to return to the offices.
— People are already returning to offices simply because not everyone can turn their home into an office. I know of a case where a company closed an office and one of the employees ended up having to work from his own car. He did not have the opportunity to organize a normal workspace at home. There are those who find it difficult to discipline themselves at home. For some, leaving for work ritual and returning home is very important. Although there are those who are ready to return because they miss the company, people and communication. After a year and a half of “home mode”, people want a little more communication. Especially if we are talking about countries that had strict lockdowns and it was impossible to even go outside”, says Marina.
Developer salaries are rising, but may soon fall
Working from home, developers do not always remain efficient. And it’s not about their ability to self-discipline and comfortable working conditions. The developers shortage and the salaries growth led to the fact that many got a job on several projects at once.
— There are many people who started working in several jobs, says Orkhan Gasimov.
— The pandemic caused a “global warming” in the market. On the one hand, salaries are growing, you can manage to work 2-3 jobs from home, but employers are beginning to understand this. For them, the “backup” work availability for the developer is a big problem. After all, such an employee can easily leave, he has other sources of income. This can lead to wages falling. Why pay a person twice as much if he works half the hours. It’s easier to agree with him on an hourly rate and pay 3-4 hours a day, because he does the same work that he used to do in the office in 10 hours. I think that soon it will be easy to get a job, and a big salary, but in the end the specialist cost will fall”.
According to Alexander Titov, the developers cost is growing due to the low competence of the companies that hire them.
— In any market, when the buyer does not understand what he is buying, but there is a shortage, prices rise quickly, he says. — After some time, there is a sobering up and understanding that it is not necessary to hire a thousand developers to create a thousand features. Perhaps, relatively speaking, 20 seniors, 10 stuff developers, and so on will be enough for the task. There are three main gradations of the level of developers (but in fact there are more). And there are specialists who can be involved in several projects at the same time. This is the level of a stuff engineer who can take on multiple projects and be more efficient than a dozen junior developers who don’t know what to do.
I have seen how engineers with a certain development tool knowledge are charged $12,000 per month. That is a very high salary. But at the same time, a person with such a salary does not grow. He does not need anything else, so his forward movement and development stops. Most likely, everything is going towards the software engineers development, as well as various skills differentiation”, says Titov.
Leonid Igolnik does not agree with him, as in Silicon Valley there are no such salaries for a long time. A developer with 10-15 years of experience in a startup can receive 200-220 thousand dollars a year and options.
— I’m not talking about Google, Amazon and large companies, where the rate of an experienced developer can be up to 700 thousand dollars a year, including company shares. There is still a gold rush in the software business. Wherever a developer lives, typically he earns the average family income. It’s true that he can not stop developing. In the IT industry, there are not yet permanent standards and approaches, as, for example, in construction, so that you can use university knowledge until the end of your professional career.
Stay in IT: letters, stories, emojis
For maintaining your chances of working in the industry and earning a high salary in a pandemic, experts advise pumping relevant skills.
— In a remote environment, it is very important to learn how to use instant messengers and email correctly,” says Leonid Igolnik. — People have been relying on gestures and facial expressions for quite a long time, enriching their communication with these signals. Now such signals can be seen in email and instant messengers, but not everyone can interpret them correctly. It is extremely vital to learn how to use signals correctly and communicate your ideas to people of different nature.
Orkhan Gasimov also advises to “level up” presentation skills.
— It is really crucial to be able to present your work results to others. However, being able to present and manage time (remember that 5 minutes is enough to wash your face and turn on your laptop) does not mean that you will become an interesting storyteller. The ability to tell a story is definitely in demand today. Ideas need to be communicated in a way that is understandable and memorable.
— And of course, you need to be able to work in a team, understand the goals,” says Alexander Titov. — For teamwork, it is important that it is united to achieve a common goal. And it doesn’t always depend on the team lead how well it works. If all the people in the team are poorly involved in the story with a common goal, then the desired efficiency cannot be achieved. Moreover, it is vital to be able to present the your work results with reference to the team goal. You need to learn how to perceive the result through the benefits that you bring to everyone.