Pressure on developers puts digital transformation efforts at risk

One of the side effects of the pandemic has been a boost to digital transformation efforts. But in the rush to innovate businesses are struggling to find developer talent.

New research shows 72 percent of tech teams have a skills shortage with two million vacancies for tech jobs advertised between May 2021 and 2022 in the UK alone, and tech salaries almost 80 percent higher than those for non-IT roles.

Calculations by Dynatrace, based on average salary data published by recruitment specialists, Michael Page shows front-end developer salaries increased by 22 percent on average and by 40 percent at the lower end of the scale, while DevOps engineer salaries increased by 22 percent on average and by 29 percent at the lower end of the scale.

Difficulty in attracting fresh talent to teams is piling on the pressure for existing developers too, as their workload increases faster than the workforce can grow. If it goes unaddressed, this could increasingly lead to developer burnout, putting digital transformation efforts at risk.

"To enable the digital transformation businesses are heavily investing in, they need to ensure they have the right skills in place," says Greg Adams, regional vice president, UK and Ireland at Dynatrace. "Developers are under significant pressure to keep up with innovation cycles, and talent shortages create more work for existing teams. This leads to developer burnout as teams cannot cope with mounting workloads. Organizations need to do more than increase salaries if they are to reduce developer burnout, otherwise, they risk derailing their digital transformation journeys."

Businesses need to look at automating as many of their routine, easily repeatable processes as possible. This will allow developers to spend more time on innovation and less on manual efforts to keep the lights on. Teams will then be less likely to feel the pinch where there is a shortage of talent and keep digital transformation on track.

"In too many organizations, developer teams are maxed out yet facing increasing pressure to deliver more innovation," adds Adams. "Investing in more resources in isolation isn't a sustainable solution. Automation, however, can create a real step change. Augmenting developers' skills with automation reduces the need for them to manually conduct routine, highly repetitive tasks in the delivery pipeline. This enables developer teams to focus on developing new features and services and ultimately speed up the delivery of innovation."

Image credit: AndreyPopov/

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