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Demand and hiring trends# DevSkiller IT skills report 2021: Demand and hiring trends## ForewordThe demand for IT skills has never been greater as the world continues downthe path of revolution. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projectsthe IT industry to grow 22% by 2029. Driving this demand is the growing needfor new applications and software across all kinds of industry.While there is definite growth forecasted, the past year has not been withoutits challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has rocked theglobal economy to its core and has significantly impacted the IT skillsworkforce.Despite all of this, our mission remains unchanged. DevSkiller was founded onthe principle of providing valuable information to IT recruitmentprofessionals to assist them with their hiring decisions. This purpose is whatmotivated us to begin preparing these reports three years ago. If you like,you can compare this year’s data to that which we reported in 2019 and 2020.Within the report, you may notice some differences between what was recordedin past years. In some of those sections, we have concluded that the COVID-19pandemic caused the changes. You may also find that certain sections haveremained relatively constant, which is a testament to the popularity ofparticular IT skills within the industry. This year’s report was compiled from304,645 coding tests sent to developers in 156 countries by companies in 62countries.The increased data set has provided us with more information on the mostpopular IT skills and greater details about technical recruitment geography.We’ve also included a new section on the most popular web browsers andoperating systems used by developers on our platform and information about thepopular technologies within the DevOps tech stack.This report was designed to assist your technical recruitment efforts, and Ihope that it serves you well moving forward.Jakub Kubrynski DevSkiller CEO## Table of contents## Want a copy to take home?Download the pdf version here!## 2020 tech industry overviewIn previous years, this is the point where we’d usually begin to deliver thefindings from our platform. However, because 2020 was a year like no other, wemade the decision to include this overview so you have a better understandingof where the industry stands after the past twelve months.We’ve broken it down into three key sections: * Global IT market * Salary * Employment patternsPlease be aware that most of the information in this section has been gatheredfrom external sources. If you’d like to view the findings from the DevSkillerplatform, we suggest that you skip ahead to section 1.1.### Global IT market outlook – 2021 forecastThis year we’ve analyzed the state of the global IT market for 2020 and theoutlook for 2021. As reported by CompTia, research consultancy firm IDCprojected global IT revenue to be $4.8 trillion for 2020 back in August ofthat year, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic it failed to reach that mark.The IDC does however project that the global IT market should surpass $5.0trillion in revenue for 2021 which is more inline with the initial forecastsfor 2020 (pre COVID-19).As expected, in 2021 the US will be the largest tech market in the world with33% of the total revenue or $1.6 trillion. Outside of the US, Western Europe(19%) and China (14%) are the next two largest technology markets projectedfor 2021.### Software developer salaryDespite the effect that COVID-19 has had this past year, the IT industry isstill positioned well. The pace at which it continues to grow, makes a careerin IT incredibly attractive for many people. Competitive salaries are anotherdriving factor.Software developers are some of the most well paid professionals in the world.The growing demand for skilled developers ensures that salaries will onlycontinue to rise. This year, we have analyzed the average software developersalaries in some key countries around the globe.Country| Average annual salary (USD) —|— Switzerland| $95,753 Australia| $85,167 Denmark| $73,017 United States| $71,858 Norway| $63,708 Germany| $60,806 The Netherlands| $54,467 Canada| $51,998 Finland| $49,713 France| $47,436 United Kingdom| $41,924 | Source: PayScalePlease note that the values seen are valid at the time of publication of thisreport. If you’d like more job specific salary information then please visitour software developer salaries page. We regularly update this data to keepour readers informed of any movement in salary for several IT professions.### Employment patternsIn this section, we’ve investigated some notable employment patterns fordevelopers within the industry.#### IT employee turnover2020 was unprecedented. The Coronavirus pandemic ravaged local economies andcompletely shifted work patterns across all industries. Interestingly, thetraditionally fluid IT industry saw a huge shift in the amount of employeeturnover compared to previous years.In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 3.2% average monthlyemployee turnover for the technology industry. By comparison, from June toOctober 2020 the average employee turnover was 2.08%, or a 35% decrease inemployee turnover. What’s clear is that the uncertainty of the job market haskept developers in their current roles for longer than previous years. Weanticipate that movement and the frequency of job changes will return as theindustry continues to bounce back in the post COVID-19 market.#### Work experience and training patternsAt DevSkiller, our stack specific coding tests cover a range of IT skills forjunior, middle, and senior-level developers. This flexibility gives employersthe opportunity to accurately test for developers for all levels ofexperience. This year, we wanted to identify the required years of experiencefor developers depending on seniority.According to PayScale, the industry standards for software developers are asfollows: * Entry level: Less than 1 year of experience * Early career: 1-4 years of experience * Mid career: 5-9 years of experience * Experienced: 10-19 years of experience * Late career: 20 or more years of experienceMany developers aim to advance professionally in order to earn more money. Asnoted in the 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, the number one job huntfactor for developers is better compensation. An improvement in salary can bepossible with a lateral career move but in most cases requires a verticalmove. For developers, this means earning that promotion through years ofexperience or gaining new IT skills.There is also the option for developers to land better paying jobs byfurthering their education. According to a survey from Indeed, people who payto learn IT skills spend on average $38,507 for their continued education asopposed to $15,715 for other industries. This money is well spent though ifyou consider the aforementioned average salaries for software developers.#### Desirable soft skillsIn this report, we go into great detail about the key IT skills that employersare looking for in their developers. What we don’t currently record are thedesirable soft skills for a developer. According to Hackernoon data, the mostdesirable soft skills for developers are as follows: * Empathy * Communication * Teamwork * Approachability and helpfulness * Patience * Open-mindedness * Problem solving * Accountability * Creativity * Time managementNow that you have a better understanding of the IT skills market we candeliver our findings from the DevSkiller platform:## Technical hiring & IT skills insights### Java and JavaScript are the most popular IT skills tested (43%)* * *Java and JavaScript are tied for first place as the most in-demand IT skillsfor 2021. The two popular languages were seen in 43% of test invites.#### The top 5 languages tested on DevSkiller (based on test invites)Why don’t the percentages add up to 100%?This year’s most significant development is Java climbing back to joinJavaScript for the top spot – a position it has not occupied since 2019.Rounding out the remainder of the top 5 are SQL, .NET/C#, and CSS/HTML for thesecond year running.The return of Java to the top spot shows that despite the importance of thefront-end in software development, many companies seek developers who areskilled in back-end technologies. The 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Surveydraws a similar conclusion where JavaScript held the top spot once again, withJava placing only a couple of positions behind.As we found in last year’s report, the top 5 IT skills are commonly testedwith other languages across our platform. We will elaborate on this further insection 3. However, it goes to show that more and more companies are searchingfor developers competent in these IT skills.### 75% of companies are looking for JavaScript developers* * *Despite small changes to specific tech stacks’ overall popularity, the top 5IT skills that companies are looking for have remained unchanged from lastyear. In 2020, 75% of companies were looking for JavaScript developers. SQLcame in second place with 63%, while Java has dropped slightly to 51%.HTML/CSS and .NET/C# have both seen small improvements from last year at 48%and 41%, respectively.Our findings indicate that JavaScript remains the go-to front-end IT skill.It’s important to note that we are aware of the growing shift towardsTypeScript as a replacement to JavaScript. The reason it was not specified inthis report was because we classify most TypeScript coding test invitations onour platform as JavaScript. Next year we will be placing greater emphasis ondistinguishing these two IT skills.#### The top 5 languages that companies are looking for IT skills inWhy don’t the percentages add up to 100%?SQL again remains the most popular database IT skill. While companies that arecontinuing to opt for Java and .NET/C# to solve technical issues, lean towardsJava as the preferred option. The increase in popularity of HTML/CSShighlights the constant and growing need for skilled web developers.### JavaScript is the most popular language tested together with other ITskills* * *With JavaScript featuring prominently over the first few sections in thisyear’s report, it’s little surprise that it remains the most commonly testedlanguage with other technologies.We again selected the top 8 languages that were most commonly tested togetherand found little change over the previous year’s findings.This year, JavaScript and CSS held onto the top spot, narrowly edging outJavaScript and HTML. Following them were JavaScript and SQL, Java and SQL,Java and JavaScript, SQL and .NET/C#, SQL and Python, and .NET/C# andJavaScript as the other most commonly tested technologies. This year’s mostsignificant development was Python making its way into the top 8, indicatingits popularity and back-end functionality.Our findings highlight companies’ desire for developers with a broadened rangeof knowledge. On the front-end, JavaScript leads the way as the most popularlanguage, while Java and Python lead the back-end, and SQL compliments aserver-side stack.#### THE TOP 8 LANGUAGES TESTED TOGETHER### React, MySQL, Spring, ASP.NET, Data Analysis, HTML, Laravel, and Bash arethe most popular technologies in their respective tech stacks* * *The true power of RealLifeTesting™ is that developers are tested not only intheir knowledge of the language but also in their ability to understand thevarying resources and tools of the given tech stack that they’ll be using.This section will outline the most popular IT skills, resources, andtechnologies of the eight most popular tech stacks on our platform.#### The most popular tech stacks we testJavaScript 1. React | 35.08% —|— 2. ES6 | 24.19% 3. Angular2+ | 16.80% 4. Node.JS | 15.26% 5. Redux | 10.82% Java 1. Spring | 35.96% —|— 2. Spring Boot | 20.47% 3. Hibernate | 18.03% 4. Maven | 16.08% 5. Gradle | 8.77% .NET/C# 1. ASP.NET | 45.93% —|— 2. SQL Server | 39.60% 3. MVC | 36.35% 4. .NET Core | 26.04% 5. Entity Framework | 19.35% SQL 1. MySQL | 53.11% —|— 2. SQL Server | 20.66% 3. HSQLDB | 18.77% 4. PostgreSQL | 13.87% 5. MongoDB | 10.47% CSS 1. HTML | 46.93% —|— 2. WCAG 2.0 | 29.41% 3. HTML 5 | 16.02% 4. Sass | 12.77% 5. LESS | 7.76% Python 1. Python 3.x | 71,07% —|— 2. Data Analysis | 35.22% 3. Django | 20.96% 4. NumPy | 6.50% 5. Flask | 4.40% PHP 1. Laravel | 55.47% —|— 2. Symfony | 42.24% 3. Doctrine | 27.74% 4. CodeIgniter | 18.07% 5. WordPress | 11.96% DevOps 1. Bash | 70.61% —|— 2. networking | 65.31% 3. Docker | 54.69% 4. System Admin | 54.69% 5. Shell | 12.24% ### React is the most popular technology in the JavaScript tech stack onceagain, seen in 35% of testsUnsurprisingly, React leads the way for the second year as the most populartechnology within the JavaScript tech stack. Just as it did last year, Reacttops the Hacker News hiring trends extending its streak to 31 consecutivemonths – at the time of publication. Despite dropping a few percentage points,ES6 came in second place once again, with just under a quarter of JavaScriptdevelopers tested using it. Rounding out the top 5 were Angular2+, Nodejs, andRedux. Vue.js slipped to 6th this year, narrowly missing the top 5.### Spring is used in 36% of Java testsDespite remaining the most popular Java tech stack resource, Spring has lostground compared to last year (47%). Spring Boot, which is an enhancedextension of the Spring framework, comes in second place. The rise inpopularity of Spring Boot comes as little surprise considering its ease of usefor configuring Spring applications. Rounding out the top 5 were Hibernate,Gradle, and Maven, seen in 18.03%, 16.08%, and 8.77% of Java tests,respectively.### ASP.NET is seen in almost half of all .NET/C# tech stackASP.NET leads the way for the .NET/C# tech stack once again with a whopping45.93%. This is the second year running where the ASP.NET web app frameworkhas topped the list, highlighting the continued importance of web developmentin the .NET/C# tech stack. .NET server technology, SQL Server (36.90%),overtook MVC (36.35%) by a narrow margin to come in second place this year.Not far behind was .NET Core with 26.04%, while Entity Framework came in thefifth position with 19.35%.### MySQL leads the SQL tech stack once again with 53% of testsMySQL has grown in popularity since last year, with a near 16% increase forthe database management system in 2020. Despite dropping in percentage, SQLServer held onto second place, seen in 20.66% of all SQL tests. HSQLDB(18.77%) and PostgreSQL (13.87%) made the top 5 once again this year, whileMongoDB, a new addition, rounded out the top 5 with 10.47%.### HTML was seen in 94% of all CSS testsGiven that the two technologies are so interchangeable, it’s little surprisethat HTML features so predominantly in the CSS tech stack. The two front-endtechnologies are so intertwined that you’d be hard-pressed to find a developerwho is competent in one but not the other. Following HTML was WCAG 2.0, whichfeatured in just over a quarter of CSS tests. Accessibility focused HTML5 camein at third place with 20.20%. Rounding out the top 5 were CSS preprocessorsSass (9.85%) and LESS (8.62%).### Python 3.x was used in 71.07% of Python testsAt DevSkiller, we differentiate Python 3.x and older versions of the languagebecause of the stark differences between them. For this reason, we concludedthat questions targeting Python 3.x explicitly amount to 71.07% of all Pythonexams. Data Analysis came in second place with 35.22%. The popular open-sourceweb framework Django, slipped one position with 20.96%. NumPy and Flask roundout the top 5 with 6.50% and 4.40% respectively.### Laravel remains the most popular resource in the PHP tech stack with26.65% of testsDespite dropping slightly from last year, Laravel remains the most popularframework of the PHP tech stack. Symfony was the other clear standout seen in17.07% of tests. The remaining three, Doctrine, Codelgniter, and WordPress,were all seen in less than 10% of PHP tests. The difference in popularitybetween Laravel and the others makes sense as Laravel is a multi-facetedFramework that can handle complex web applications. Doctrine, for instance, isa persistence library that doesn’t offer the same functionality as Laravel.### Bash is seen in 70.61% of DevOps testsThis is the first year that we’ve included the DevOps tech stack in thissection of the report, and it’s little surprise given the speed at which ithas grown in popularity in recent years. Looking at the results, Bash took outthe top spot, seen in 70.61% of tests. Following it was networking (65.31%),Docker and System Administration tied with 54.69%, and Shell coming in 5thwith 12.24%. An important note, in the previous year, DevSkiller did notsupport Kubernetes and infrastructure, which explains why they were notincluded in the report. With that said, we follow the market closely and havesince added support for these technologies, so keep a lookout for them in nextyear’s report.### Candidates wait on average 2 days and 13 hours to take a coding test* * *The average wait time between a candidate receiving a coding test invitationand taking the test is 2 days and 13 hours. This finding represents a slightincrease from last year’s report (2 days and 6 hours). The increase is mostlikely caused by candidates taking longer to prepare themselves for theircoding test invitation.### Coding tests sent on Wednesday get the fastest response time for thesecond year running* * *For the second year running, coding tests sent on a Wednesday get the fastestresponses. The average response time has climbed higher; however, Wednesdayremains the most responsive day. As we saw in section 5, the increase in timeis likely attributed to candidates taking longer to prepare themselves beforethey sit the test.#### The average wait in days based on the day of the week the invite is sent### A record-breaking year for tech recruitment certification!* * *The DevSkiller Tech Recruitment Certification Course had a record-breakingyear in 2020 with more than 3x attendance than last year. The increase islikely caused by recruiters amping up their recruitment knowledge after theinitial breakout of COVID-19 and subsequent recruitment freeze. In fact,almost half of the certifications took place in April and May – directly aftermost countries were forced into lockdown.### The time in days it takes recruiters to become tech recruitment certifieddepending on the number of tries they need to pass#### THE NUMBER OF TRIES IT TAKES RECRUITERS TO BECOME TECH RECRUITMENTCERTIFIEDOver half of the people (52%) sitting the course are passing on the first try,which indicates that they’re studying harder than ever before. This year, theaverage number of days to get tech certified was in line with last year’sresults (43 days). As expected, those who needed three tries to pass thecourse took the longest time at 54 days, representing a slight increase tolast year (53.09 days).### Google Chrome and Windows 10 are the most popular browser and operatingsystem on our platform* * *This year we’ve analyzed the most popular browsers and operating systems usedby candidates on our system. Unsurprisingly, Google Chrome (68.84%) was thepreferred browser by a considerable margin. Our findings mirror the data fromStatCounter Global, which lists Google Chrome as the most popular web browserat 63.54% – at the time of publication.Firefox (15.28%) came in second place, followed by Edge-chromium (6.01%) andSafari (3.93%). Interestingly, StatCounter has Safari in second place whileFirefox sits at third. This suggests that developers don’t necessarily followthe same trends as the general public regarding their browser preference.#### Most popular browsers used for DevSkiller coding testsOur research for the most popular operating system also offered interestingfindings. Taking out the top spot was Windows 10, with 54.13% of developersusing this operating system as their preferred option. This finding was inline with data from the 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, where almosthalf of the developers surveyed used Windows as their primary operatingsystem. Following that was macOS (23.01%), Linux (12.64%), while Windows 7,Windows 8.1, Android OS, and iOS were all used by less than 5% of developers.#### The most popular operating system used for coding tests## The geography of IT skills recruitment### Countries are looking abroad more than ever for their technical hiringneeds* * *The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant changes in company hiringpatterns. As a result, most companies have undergone rapid transformationsinto remote-friendly or even remote-first workplaces, which has prompted asubstantial rise in international hiring.This year, the UK, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Denmark, and Chile all sawincreases in their international hiring percentage.#### THE PERCENTAGE OF INTERNATIONAL TECHNICAL HIRING BY COUNTRY2021 – 2.1————————————————————### The US continues to be a driver of international technical hiring* * *For the third year running, the US remains the number one driver ofinternational technical hiring. This year, the US accounted for just over aquarter (25.28%) of overseas candidates tested on our platform. The other bigmover this year was Austria to second place with 12.13%The UK climbed up the ranks to third position this year with 11.05%. Thisresult comes as no surprise considering the increase of internationaltechnical hiring that was noted in section 9. Rounding out the top five wereCanada (7.42%) and Poland (4.24%).#### THE PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL OVERSEAS CANDIDATES TESTED ON OUR PLATFORM### The US is driving international recruitment but has only the 5th largestlabor market for overseas recruitment* * *Once again, the US leads the pack in international hiring but has slipped tothe 5th largest labor market. Last year, we saw the US drop from secondposition to fourth, and as we can now see, this is a continuing downwardtrend.This finding isn’t as much a criticism of developers from the US but rather atestament to developers’ quality from other markets. Brazil holds its positionin the top 5, while developers from Russia and Canada are becomingincreasingly larger sources of developer candidates outside the US.Interestingly, Canada and Brazil are in first and second position for the topcountries that the US recruits its developers. As we noted last year, theproximity and the relative time difference makes them desirable for UScompanies to source developers.The other continuing trend is companies concentrating on the allocation of ITskills to outsourced-focused countries. This trend, we expect, is likely tocontinue in the years ahead.#### Click on a country to find out where they recruit from internationallyand who recruits their local developers2021 – 2.3### Australian developers score the highest on coding tests* * *In previous years, we have used the mean score to determine the highestscoring developers by country. This year, we have analyzed the 90th percentile– which demonstrates the result that only the top 10% of all candidates in agiven country score higher than. In other words, only 10% of developers fromthe given country scored higher in their coding tests than the results you seebelow. We made this change because the mean score includes outliers that ofteninfluence averages and skew results.2021 – 2.4————————————————————————————————————————————-Australia took out the top spot this past year, with only 10% of Australiandevelopers scoring higher than 93.56 on their coding test. Developers from theUS came in second (90.91). Rounding out the top 5 were Sweden (90.35),Portugal (89), and Poland (87.50).#### COUNTRIES WHOSE DEVELOPERS SCORE THE HIGHEST ON CODING TESTS### Companies from Qatar (72.27%) have the highest scoring candidatesOn average, candidates from Qatari companies scored 72.27% on coding tests in2020.This finding indicates that companies from Qatar are testing their candidatesat an appropriate level instead of giving developers overly difficult tests.The remainder of the top 5 were Croatia (67.30%), Denmark (66.38%), Kuwait(64.57%), and Nigeria (63.05%).#### THE COUNTRIES WHOSE COMPANIES GET THE HIGHEST SCORING CANDIDATES2021 – 2.5————————————————–### Companies from Indonesia (12.11%) are the most selective* * *Companies continue to be selective about the candidates they accept. Thisyear, Indonesian companies were the most selective – only taking 12.11% ofcandidates for consideration. Following Indonesia was Malaysia (17.14%) andlast year’s most selective country – Israel (18.75%).The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak was felt heavily last year and resulted inmany developers losing their jobs. Consequently, companies have had a widercandidate pool to choose from, which has allowed them to be more selectiveabout who they consider. Although the pandemic has heavily affected hiringpatterns this past year, we expect selectivity to continue for companies thattest candidates from particular countries. Often, a company’s selectivity isdependent on the countries they source their developers from, and this trendis unlikely to change in the post-COVID-19 labor market.#### THE PERCENTAGE OF CANDIDATES ACCEPTED BY THE RECRUITER BY COUNTRY### More candidates are taking their coding tests than ever before* * *This past year we saw our highest uptake rates ever. What’s even moreimpressive is that companies send out DevSkiller coding tests to a greaternumber of candidates than last year.In the past year, a record 69.26% of tests were sat by candidates – a starkdifference to last year, where only 41% of candidates took the test. Canada(98.51%) had the highest rate of candidates sitting their test they were sent.We are continuously looking at ways where we can improve our platform and thecandidate experience. This year’s improvement gives us immense pride thatstack specific coding tests powered by the RealLifeTesting™ methodology havebecome the accepted form of technical screening for many recruiters.#### THE COUNTRIES WITH THE TOP UPTAKE RATESThe higher uptake in this year’s report is most likely due to the COVID-19outbreak. Candidates who have either been forced into unemployment oruncertain about their job security are not ignoring their coding invitations.### 94% of developers finished the coding test invitation they received* * *94% of developers finished the coding test sent to them for recruitmentpurposes, up from 93% last year. This shows that candidates who are sent arelevant, stack-specific coding test are taking them more seriously than everbefore. Formerly, coding tests were met with skepticism from recruiters aboutthe accuracy and legitimacy of results. Recruiters were once wary that codingtests did not accurately reflect the candidate’s skills or readiness for therole.#### THE PERCENTAGE OF DEVELOPERS WHO FINISH THEIR CODING TEST15/2020———————————————————————-We are now seeing both recruiters and developers embracing in-stack codingtests powered by the RealLifeTesting™ methodology. This form of testingprovides clarity for recruiters and is also appreciated by developers who aresick and tired of outdated screening procedures.This sentiment is reflected with an astonishing 94% of developer candidatescompleting the coding test invitation sent to them. We’ve seen a steadyincrease in this section since we began compiling these reports – 91.9% twoyears ago, 93% last year, and now an even greater percentage this year.There are, of course, some variations across different countries. Only 66.67%of candidates from Qatar completed the coding test sent to them. Bycomparison, 98% or more of the candidates from Saudi Arabia, Hungary,Luxembourg, Armenia, Ethiopia, Romania, Peru, Slovakia, and Denmark completedthe tests they started.### The methodology we used for this study* * *The data we used for this study came from a 365-day snapshot of users on ourplatform between December 1st, 2019 through December 1st, 2020. The insightsare based on 304,645 coding tests taken through the DevSkiller platform bycandidates in 156 countries. All data presented here is generic aggregateddemographic information. It is not linked to any specific informationregarding certain candidates or companies.If you have any questions or comments regarding the report, you can get intouch with us by emailing *In sections 1.1 and 1.2 the percentages don’t add up to 100%. Why isthat?Section 1.1A DevSkiller test can include multiple technologies. For instance,you could have a test in Java and a test in Java+SQL. In this sample, 100% ofthe tests test Java and 50% of the tests test SQL. In the same way, thepercentage in the chart refers to when the technology is tested in any test.Section 1.2 Similar to section 1.1, a company might test developers inmultiple technologies. To make it clearer, let’s look at a group of twocompanies. The first company sends out a JavaScript+CSS test. The secondcompany sends out a PHP+JavaScript test. In this group, 100% of the companiestest JavaScript, 50% test CSS, and 50% test PHP. The percentage in the chartrefers to when the technology is used in any test by a company.#### Did you find this report valuable?Take a copy home with you!

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