SaaS Shifting Is a Speed Bump for Software Developers
Statistics show that the amount of people working in software development is rising, with approximately 132,000 new employees in the industry as of last year according to data gathered by the US Department of Labor. However, the industry is actually becoming harder to break into as more and more businesses decide to make us of cloud-based services and SaaS (Software as a Service) models. This shift of companies towards SaaS applications presents a real speed bump on the career path of many software developers.
Computer Economics, a company involved in IT research, recently conducted a study which showed that, on average, programmers account for 20% of the IT staff of a typical medium to large corporation. This figure is down from the 22% of programmers seen in the same study conducted in 2012. The change isn’t enormous, but in a growing world of technology, it remains a surprising result. This reduction in the amount of programmers making up the staff of a typical company may be because of a variety of reasons, but one of those may be the increasing shift towards SaaS models.
By making the move towards SaaS applications, the need for software developers and programmers is reduced, particularly in IT shops. On the other hand, new opportunities might be opening up in other sectors thanks to the SaaS trend, at least according to John Longwell, Vice President of Research with Computer Economics. Longwell claims that the providers of SaaS services are in need of more and more programmers to maintain their systems. This means that software developers may have to make something of a transition in their careers, and unfortunately it isn’t a simple one.
Programmers with plenty of experience in the corporate world may struggle to adapt after a switch to a small startup company, for example, as the resources available and working environment will be vastly different between the two jobs. Meanwhile, other SaaS platform providers will favor job applications from those with previous work on cloud-based systems, which often isn’t the case for a typical corporate developer.
John Wiggington, Vice President of Global IT at Fleetmatics, a company that offers GPS-based fleet management services, recommends that software developers do all they can to learn about SaaS technologies and platforms in order to have a better chance of working in this field. As the shift to SaaS continues, programmers need to gain skills in this area in order to have something to offer to the many companies making use of cloud-based platforms.
With SaaS models becoming increasingly relevant in the IT world, software developers young and old need to stay in touch with changes in technology in order to survive in this changing scene. The speed bump of the SaaS shift might slow down the careers of certain individuals as they are forced to learn new skills and software packages. However, by taking the time to acquire the necessary knowledge, software developers can still enjoy successful careers, regardless of their past experience.