HackerRank Survey of More than 39,000 Developers Finds Technical Hiring Managers Struggle to Assess Skill

81 percent of recruiters worldwide still rely on the resume, while nearly half of developers believe resumes are not a good reflection of their abilities

Software developers are in high demand. Programming is one of the fastest growing professions today, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer-science related jobs available with only 400,000 computer science graduates to fill those roles.

As a result, software developers can be selective about where they work, fueling bidding wars and a shortage of developers with computer science degrees. HackerRank, a platform that helps companies evaluate technical talent based on skill, released its annual 2018 Developer Skills Report, which surveyed over 39,000 software developers around the world to get a pulse on the state of developer skills: what they’re learning, what they care about, how to best way to assess their skills.

The findings provide a roadmap for companies and hiring managers to improve the way they hire developers,, and reveals the biggest hurdles companies face when growing their developer teams.

While 77 percent of hiring managers in India primarily rely on resumes to evaluate developers at the first stage of the recruiting process, nearly all report that actually measuring skill is the hardest part of the technical hiring funnel, above talent shortage and time-consuming interviews. Meanwhile, about half of developers say that resumes are not a good reflection of their abilities.

“2018 will mark the end of the resume for developers. As more and more companies across all industries are hiring software engineers, it's more important than ever to truly take the time to understand who developers are, what they’re interested in, what drives them, and what they look for in a job. Without this, hiring managers will always struggle to find the best technical people,” said Vivek Ravisankar, co-founder and CEO of HackerRank. “With this report, we’re helping companies become more developer-focused. Very few companies are doing tech hiring well because there's a gap in developer knowledge.”

The 2018 Developer Skills Report provides insights into the programming languages and frameworks developers are learning, love and dislike; the emerging technologies they’re most interested in building, how they’re learning and what they look for in a job. Key India findings include:

One-third (33 percent) of Indian developers are exclusively self-taught, proving that the ability to self-teach – not just a college degree – is the best path to becoming a skilled software developer. While 76 percent of Indian developers have a computer science degree, roughly 37 percent say they are at least partially self-taught. In fact, 6 out of 10 Indian developers learn to code when they are 16 to 20 years old.

Developers are constantly learning, even after graduating. 97 percent of the Indian developers have a college degree or plan on obtaining one. On an average, majority of Indian developers know C, Java and C++, with 43 percent developers saying that Python will be the next language they wish to learn.

Python is universally the most popular language and is most loved by Indian developers while Node.js is the most loved framework. There is, however, a generational divide around newer languages and frameworks. While millennials generally like JavaScript and dislike Go, the opposite is true among 45-54 year olds. Younger developers prefer newer frameworks like AngularJS and React, while older developers prefer Vue.js.

YouTube is more popular than books for learning. The very nature by which they learn is evolving, and can’t be quantified by a resume. Eighty-six percent of developers report that they head to Stack Overflow when they need to learn a new skill or tool. As a second source of knowledge, Indian developers head to YouTube (77 percent).

What developer candidates value in a job defies current wisdom. In the hopes of attracting top talent, companies have usually leaned in on perks and stock options. However, when asked what they care most about in a job, developers rank those among the least important priorities.

Rather, in India, professional growth and learning opportunities (65 percent) and good work life balance (58 percent) are their true deal-breakers. Companies looking to build a developer-first brand should keep these values in mind.


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