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How to Close the Developer Skills Gap Through Upskilling

How to Close the Developer Skills Gap Through Upskilling

How to Close the Developer Skills Gap Through Upskilling

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Seriesa collection of contributed articles written by our enterprise tech thought leader community—Silvia Rocha, the VP of Engineering at OutSystems, goes in-depth into how upskilling and low-code can help companies close the developer skills gap.

Digitalization has taken over all aspects of modern business. While there may be more technology available for companies to accomplish their goals, there is a scarce number of developers to lead these projects. Over the past couple of years, developers have seen an overwhelming demand for their skills as businesses recognize that to have a competitive advantage, they need to invest in software and cloud development. Reading past the sensational headlines of tech layoffs, you will find very few developers being let go and a continued increase of developer jobs added to the market each month.

A talent shortage in the tech industry is creating a skills gap, meaning that while developers are in high demand, the industry is struggling to hire and retain them. As a result, businesses are grappling with how to make the most of their present teams so innovation doesn’t slow.

The promising news is there are ways to uncover talent that already exists in your organization. Managers must take every opportunity to empower their existing developers and encourage them to become technical skills leaders. Upskilling existing teams will be the best investment for your business and will ultimately inspire a new generation of developers.

The Fundamentals of Upskilling

To create a rewarding upskilling experience amid this talent gap, businesses must invest in their employees and ensure they remain supported and challenged. The talent shortage has shown that this has the highest ROI if done correctly. According to research by OutSystems and Lucid, IT leaders need more—and more specialized—talent to see their existing cloud-native strategies through. Managers must upskill in areas of high business impact and avoid undifferentiated heavy lifting alongside manual and repetitive tasks that hinder creative thinking. In doing so, managers can maximize developer productivity.

A fully equipped developer team includes talent from 13 roles, from back-end, full stack, and mobile developers to enterprise architects and designers. If IT leaders don’t implement the proper protocols and tools, they won’t be able to track how these roles should collaborate and work in unison for the businesses’ upcoming projects. If this does not take priority, it could result in burnout. To avoid this unwanted outcome and ultimately alleviate the team’s workload, managers should consider a low-code platform.

Uncovering Existing Talent Through Low-Code

The skills gap is driven by the developer and time shortages. With the amount of projects businesses are aiming to take on, traditional development has proven to take way too long. While the industry has been somewhat apprehensive about changing their habits and integrating low-code, there are an increasing number of success stories where businesses have seen that low-code can effectively tackle the time shortage aspect of the skills gap and give developers the tools to get more done in less time.

Low-code has evolved over the years and is more than just the “short-cut” the industry initially labeled it. Low-code entered the conversation as a necessary platform because it empowers developers to focus on what the majority would agree is the most interesting and important part of their jobs—innovation. When developers feel their work is important and transformative, they will be happier in their roles.

Even though the primary motivation for most individuals to become developers is creating and adding value, developers typically allocate less than one-third of their time to coding business logic. As demand for digital projects and application building keeps growing, developers have been tasked with building these projects from scratch, and the groundwork can feel repetitive and exhausting. Managers have to recognize how much is being asked of their developers and give them a platform to eliminate tedious work.

The Benefits of Low-Code

In the long term, whether there continues to be a skills gap or not, investment into high-performance low-code will consistently allow IT leaders to uncover the hidden talents of developers who now have the time and space to innovate in their projects. Low-code platforms provide the opportunity to upskill the existing workforce, increase collaboration to scale, and evolve future digital transformation strategies.

Low-code solutions increase developer productivity by improving corporate agility. Traditional development approaches are not as cost or time-efficient. There’s been significant growth within low-code over the past couple of years, and it’s estimated that 3 out of 4 apps are made with low-code. Both business and career developers have been brought together through low-code, and companies that implement these platforms into their plans have created a larger pool of talent to help facilitate low-risk and high-quality work to ease the demands involved in cloud and digital transformation.

More than 71 percent of low-code developers said they could stick to the typical 40-hour work week, compared to only 44 percent of traditional developers. Additionally, 63 percent of low-code developers indicate they are happy with their salary and benefits compared to 40 percent of traditional developers. While low-code developers have received an average of three and a half job promotions at their current company, traditional developers have been promoted just two times.

In many ways, high-performance low-code was ahead of its time. Some developers viewed it as a threat to their jobs, but in reality, low-code only proves how necessary developers are to the business. Now that low-code platforms have become more mainstream, companies that have taken advantage of the platform and implemented it early are reaping the benefits.

For instance, Park Industries, a manufacturer of stone working machinery, used a low-code platform to save about $350,000 a year. By lessening their reliance on IT and modernizing and consolidating their legacy applications, Park Industries significantly reduced their IT spending and overhead, empowering them to do more with less.

The Path from Traditional Developer to Business Innovator

As organizations adopt low-code platforms, developer productivity will increase, with more time spent on business innovation and less on undifferentiated heavy-lifting activities. IT managers can expect success. Developer job satisfaction and engagement will continue to rise as more projects are completed on time with higher quality using low-code platforms. Developer impact will also increase and, in turn, increase the return on investment in skilling low-code developers, creating a virtuous cycle of innovation through low-code development.

With the right tools and upskilling practices, businesses can overcome the hurdles of the ongoing developer shortage. Empower your current team of developers and give them the space to grow their technical skills and increase innovation opportunities. This will uncover the talent that already exists in your organization and foster a rewarding upskilling experience.

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