The Pandemic’s Impact on Software Developers and How to Thrive Post-COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic ground the world to a halt. Millions of lives were lost to the virus, and a significant percentage of the workforce were laid off as businesses closed or downsized. Some jobs remained steadfast amidst the economic upheavals. First responders, hospitals, all the essential sectors are still running.

One of the jobs that remain somewhat in demand is in the IT sector. Software developers work hard behind the scenes to address the surge of customers that migrated online, forced by the pandemic’s cold touch.

How the pandemic impacted software developers

Normally in times of economic upheavals, software developers are not as adversely impacted as other jobs in other sectors. However, the COVID pandemic saw the rise in the demand for software services. Suddenly, almost everything was online. From groceries and clothing to hiring for businesses, these had to be done remotely.

The effect of the coronavirus in tech

The initial surge of the COVID-19 had software developers working twice as hard due to the rise in demand for their services. Because most people were driven by quarantine to their homes’ safety, work became something that only experienced remote teams could manage. All the standard amenities in offices like meeting- or huddle rooms are now inaccessible to employees via online solutions like Zoom.
Your remote team uses digital grounds to communicate and create things. Hiring those great team members also happens in this same digital ground. This coming online move means that the workload of tech employees can now double or even triple. However, this does not mean that the demand for more tech developers in the workplace also doubled.

The job opportunities for tech developers were lower than they were during pre-pandemic times.

Of course, some companies were hiring even during the pandemic. However, due to the worldwide economy’s uncertainty, most businesses were understandably held back on new recruits. And, understandably so – at the same time, some other companies were strictly firing.
As far as job opportunities and job security are concerned, tech developers are coping far better than most.

What tech developers feel about their job security and workload

Many software and other tech developers felt the uncertainty of their positions in their companies. With many companies either shutting down or laying off their employees, it is not a far stretch of the imagination that they might be next. Because of the recession brought about by the pandemic, tech developers worried about their future career status.
Companies declared a freeze hire to hedge their budgets to stay afloat during this unprecedented time. Some have trimmed their numbers down to the bare minimum. So those working in tech development whose colleagues have been furloughed or have been let go felt the doubled workload’s effects. With nearly all businesses migrating online to keep their customers, IT services’ demand is still here.
As the pandemic progressed and we felt the online traffic increasing, the demand for IT services burgeoned to the point where big tech companies started hiring more people forehands-on positions. The layoffs were still happening, but the hiring for in-demand software development and other IT jobs was ever-present.

Hiring amidst the coronavirus pandemic

It was not surprising that advertised jobs within the technology space dropped — initially. Because even if the demand for IT services was there, the entire world is in recession. People who have done job searches at the onset of the pandemic had a hard time finding advertised jobs, much less getting hired by a company.
The number of interviews dropped overall because of companies freezing their hiring. Callbacks were even rarer. Again, the demand was there, but the opportunities were not as plentiful as during pre-pandemic times.
People who managed to secure interviews had them canceled or postponed. Even job offers were withdrawn or put on hold indefinitely.
If the big businesses and conglomerates were hit badly, double could be said for startups. Startups generally do not have as big a budget as larger companies and therefore have had to rein in their spending by stopping hiring new people altogether. Startups and medium-sized businesses had to lay off some of their employees, distributing the added workload burden to their already small workforce.
After the tech world’s initial shock and response to the pandemic, and after seeing the rise in online services, companies started hiring for IT positions like software developers, website developers, Cloud engineers, etc.
Companies are now also switching to remote work business models. It is not uncommon nowadays to see open job posts for remote software developers. It is also now quite normal to have the entire hiring process done online.

Software developers and digital transformation in the COVID-19 era

Companies are now routing some of their precious resources to digital transformation. This move has opened up jobs for software developers across companies.
Because of the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, companies have had to adapt to the changes and adopted digital transformation to survive and even thrive. Most business is conducted virtually now, and companies have jumped on the bandwagon to retain their customer base and keep up their cash flow.
Enterprises — even medium-size businesses — need software developers and DevOps to make this transition. Hence, there are more job opportunities in the IT sector for developers and other IT-related services.

Unemployment for software developers during COVID

Before the pandemic, unemployment for software developers across the US was at 2%. During the pandemic, it was at 4.2%, seeing the rise of unemployment in software development at only 2.2%., which is significantly lower than in other areas. This low number is due to IT becoming a critical component in keeping businesses afloat during times of hardship like the pandemic.

The surge of apps during the pandemic

Undeniably, because of the massive shift from physical stores and businesses to online shops, many companies have resorted to having online apps and tune in their business models to reflect on that. Online shops and various applications help ease the transition from physical workspaces to virtual workspaces, and these have already flooded the interwebs.
Of course, the work behind this colossal transition falls on the shoulders of software developers—their workload doubles, sometimes triples.
Hiring people can now be done online thanks to software applications that do the vetting and hiring. Online shopping was once something people did when bored or local options are insufficient or unavailable. It was during the coronavirus era when online shopping grew as a necessity. People could shop safely and avoid catching the deadly virus.
We can now find online versions of our favorite big brand shops. Groceries, clothing, our favorite coffee shops now also have their own online apps from which their customers could order. Choosing the right item is as easy as clicking an app, adding to a cart, and checking out.
Even getting tested for the virus can actually be ordered online. The customers set the schedule, and the nurses and healthcare professionals tote their paraphernalia to their customers’ homes to conduct the tests.

The world post-pandemic and how to thrive in it

The IT world has been reasonably resilient amidst the pandemic. The surge in demand for IT services has made the market more profitable for software developers and other IT professionals.
The post-COVID world for software developers will most likely be as profitable as during it, if not more. Software developers will stay relevant for the foreseeable future, not only despite the virus but because of it. The pandemic’s strides in the technology sphere will ensure that the demand for software developers remains high. However, one must not rest on their laurels and expect the good times to roll in for you.
To ensure your business stays afloat even after the outbreak died down, educating oneself in the emerging trends in the IT-sphere is a must. Software developers need to remain up-to-date with the new developments in their areas of expertise and remain an asset to their companies. Learning new and emerging technologies will give them an edge over their peers.
Learning time management while doing remote work is an excellent skill to develop. As businesses have found the profitability of hiring remote specialists, there is a huge possibility that you will keep working remotely for the foreseeable future, especially if you are currently a member of a remote team. Remote work is still regarded as a necessary alternative to inhouse work. However, as the pandemic dissipates, it will establish itself as a new norm.
The post-COVID world will also be more technologically advanced. We’ve already seen improvements in chatbots and customer support AI-driven apps. We’ve also seen how the healthcare world has adapted to the new technologies and how many new software programs have helped address patients’ needs.
Undoubtedly, unless something technologically catastrophic happens, the world will keep developing better technology, and the market for people to build those technologies will remain steadfast.

The bottom line

For companies to remain profitable and to have significant market growth, they need to adapt to new business models more geared towards advanced technology. The world has irrevocably changed, and so must businesses. Even small to medium-scale enterprises have adapted and focused on undertaking a definite digital transformation. Taking that first step will be a leg up for them in the post-COVID economy.
The world took a hit by something devastating, but we rose to the challenge. Everything we have learned from this experience, everything gained and lost, will shape how we grow after the pandemic. The IT world has proven itself necessary for our survival in these unprecedented times.
Software developers and other IT professionals have been critical in helping businesses and customers maintain a symbiotic relationship. The future of business hinges on how well they can adapt and transform technologically.

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Author

Andreas Maier | CEO

Andreas is a result-oriented CEO who brings nearly 30 years of experience gained in the high-tech industry. His experience ranges up to leading positions in Fortune 100 companies such as rentalcars.com (PCLN) or Intrasoft International, a leading EU based R&D software vendor. He holds a Ph.D. in Neural Networks from the University of Cologne, Germany.
In the past Andreas has successfully founded and co-founded several startups among others XXL Cloud Inc., eShopLeasing Ltd, and WDS Consulting SA. His expertise is strongly focused on modern headless Commerce and the optimization of processes in IT ecosystems.