Scarcity Among Software Developers – CoDev Blog


October 5, 2016

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One of my good friends recently ordered the iPhone 7 Plus from his cell phone company. His wife ordered the iPhone 7 in the smaller, “regular size” version. She was able to walk out of the store with her new phone, but he is still waiting on his… and will be for at least another week or two. He’s looked into buying the phone from a reseller somewhere, but the price is so much higher to get it “now” that he’s all but forced to wait for the provider to mail him the promised gadget.

This October, my favorite baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are playing in the National League playoffs. If they can get past the Washington Nationals and likely the Chicago Cubs, they’ll find themselves in the World Series. The Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since I was a much younger guy, although the memory is still vivid in my mind these 28 years later. Tickets for the playoff games in LA are going for… well… a lot more than face value.

Advertisers pay millions to put 30 seconds of their product in front of a Super Bowl watching audience, when putting their ad on TV during a regular season NFL game costs much much less.

Why the difference?


The demand on iPhone 7 Pluses, on LA Dodger playoff tickets, and on 30 second Super Bowl ad spots far exceeds the supply available, and basic economic theory then holds that prices will go up as demand increases and supply decreases. This applies to products and services across the marketplace.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there is a shortage–or scarcity, if you will–of talented software developers in the marketplace. The unemployment rate for software developers in 2016 is 2.5%, and the median salary is 6 figures. There are currently 135,000 open positions for software developers in the United States. This is projected to grow 17% by 2024, when there is projected to be 186,600 open positions for developers.

Following the basic economic principles that apply to Super Bowl commercials, playoff tickets, and iPhones, developers are going to be demanding more and more in terms of salary and perks, etc., as the demand increases. Most top developers today don’t have to job hunt, the jobs hunt for them. They’re headhunted from one job to another, enjoying the benefits of W2 employment with the freedom of a freelancer.

Fortunately, another trend in today’s world is the phenomenon of the global economy. It’s now entirely feasible to hire an employee on the other side of the world, manage and direct them, just as if they were in the next office over. Sure, you won’t be able to go out for drinks after work, necessarily, but otherwise there’s very little difference.

How CoDev Solves the Scarcity Problem

At Codev, we exist to facilitate this advantage. We have offshore operations in Cebu, Philippines, where we hire college-educated, English-speaking, experienced software developers for our clients. They come to work in our office and we supply them with the IT support and HR oversight of a professional office environment while our clients manage and direct their day-to-day tasks and deliverables. The employees work for only one client, there’s no sharing assets.

So while the scarcity exists in the US, we’re able to bring the benefits of the global workforce to the companies in the USA that may not necessarily have the resources to compete with the big headhunters or to go open their own offshore operations. And we save our clients a boatload of money in the process.



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