Our Dev Update for April 2021 is here – learn about what’s hot in the market as well as what skills and frameworks you should watch out for in the dev space.
We hope you enjoy the episode!
The talent squeeze is still putting pressure on hiring across Newcastle, New South Wales and the country. Are you, as a software developer taking the best advantage of this? Let’s talk about it on this ep of the Newy Dev Update.
Okay. So once again, we’re looking at Seek as a general guide for job flow in the area. And this time around, we’re looking at the, I guess the month period from the 15th of April to the 14th of May. So in that period we saw 40 jobs posted in software development on Seek which is an increase of 10 month on month. As I mentioned last month, you can’t put enormous amounts of stock into these numbers, just because realistically Seek is only one job board. And the ROI of posting on Seek is getting lower and lower, month on month.
Software development especially, people just don’t check job boards too often. I can imagine if you are a software developer on LinkedIn your inbox right now is getting belted by recruiters across the country. Of varying roles, varying seniority levels. So people just don’t need to look at job boards anymore especially if they are at the mid and senior level and as such we can’t put enormous amounts of stock into Seek. But, hey it’s a good litmus test. It’s a good, it’s a good general guide for now. A bit of an interesting point.
We’re starting to see a fair few clients that we hadn’t historically seen in this market. We’ve seen a lot of people hiring that I’ve never seen come up on seek before, and I’ve been religiously checking that board for the better part of three years. So that’s really interesting to see. I think people are starting to target Newcastle’s software development scene from elsewhere. So from the capital cities, et cetera, hiring is becoming increasingly difficult there as well. So they’re starting to cast the net a bit wider than they used to. Last month, I covered the concept of employment value proposition, EVP, and what it means for hiring in this sort of market. If you’re an employer, hiring manager, that is struggling at this point in the market, pretty much every hiring manager is at the moment if they’re looking for software developers in Newy. I really urge you to take a look at it.
There’s a few good tips in there and hopefully it’s something that you can employ in your searches. This month however, I’m going to flip the coin a little bit going to look at the other side of that dual-sided marketplace. And talk about how developers and honestly any technical employee can get the most out of this market. It’s a really good market for the employee side of things at the moment, and people should be taking advantage of it A recurring theme in honestly, pretty much every piece of content that we here at NTP put out is, knowing your value and knowing how to capitalize on that value, getting as much as you can from compensation perspective and from a job satisfaction perspective because it’s not always about money. Assuming you focused on this whilst building your career whilst going through those motions, now’s the perfect time to capitalise and essentially cash out on, on that effort that you’ve expended. There’s a few ways to do this. The first one that I’m going to cover off is taking a role elsewhere. I don’t think it’s going to be particularly surprising to anyone that an agency recruiter is going to recommend looking elsewhere for roles. That is quite literally the business model of agency recruitment. Bias aside, the blunt reality of looking for a job in the 21st century is that you don’t get the most job satisfaction. You don’t get the most from a compensation perspective by staying in the same company and vaguely the same role for a long period of time. My dad’s been in his role for 40 years, and look, that’s worked for him. The reality in software development is that that doesn’t work. People stay in roles for quite a long time and they leave money on the table. They leave promotions on the table and they’re in reality not getting the most out of their career. So the big obvious one take a sideways step, or maybe a diagonal step into a different organisation, into a different industry, maybe a different tech stack, if you want to feel a bit more adventurous, and just start adding pieces to the tool belt. I’d really recommend doing your research and having a bit of a look at what does exist in the wide world out there. You can do that yourself just by looking on Seek, LinkedIn and Adzuna.
If you want to get a bit funky, or you can reach out to an agency recruiter. We’re obviously the best ones, but there are a bunch out there in Newcastle and look, diversity of opinion is never a bad thing. So do a bit of research. Talk to a few people, get an understanding as to where you sit in that market. Maybe learn something new, maybe get a bit of a grounding, maybe you need to figure out what sort of tech you need to start researching a bit more. And those sorts of conversations, that sort of research is really going to help you with that process. That being said sometimes you decide to take that sideways move, that diagonal move, and the company that you’re currently at really doesn’t want to let you go and they give you a counter offer.
That comes to our second point. Counter offers are a really interesting thing to me because they only really occur when you’ve signaled your intent to leave the company. And you’ve kind of signaled that your, your investment in that role has diminished to a point that you are looking elsewhere and have decided to actually take the jump. Opinions do vary pretty, pretty wildly on counter offers. Some people think that they’re something that you can take and continue on in that organisation with. Some people think that they’re very much a temporary measure where you’ve got, you know, maybe a six months timescale until that company is then going to either find a replacement for you, start to manage you out, et cetera. Some people think that it’s a case by case basis. And look, I’m definitely in that latter camp.
Some companies counteroffers are a part of life especially the more enterprise organisations especially ones that have adjacencies to some of the bigger players in Australia. Like you’re Atlassian and your Canva and so on. Counter offers are just a part of life because people are constantly getting bombarded with offers from massive companies, both here and internationally. And as such, sometimes you’ve just got to splash a bit more to retain your talent. However you feel about them. I think it’s pretty universally agreed that they are a perfectly valid strategy to get a bit more for your dollar while staying within the same company. You just have to be comfortable with the idea that that counter offer may not come and you might actually have to make the jump. Sometimes that’s a bit scary. And if you’re trying to play the game, look, there is a risk to that. And you’ve just got to make peace with that before going down that path, realistically. Option three is the consulting route, and this is something that’s starting to pop up a fair bit more in Newcastle software development market. Historically consulting roles, contracting roles, you know, your short term stuff, your fixed term stuff, your temp stuff. It was pretty thin on the ground in Newcastle. And someone who wanted to work exclusively in Newcastle on-prem probably couldn’t have made a consistent living as a contractor, software developer. A lot of organisations locally, they’re either in-house teams, especially within smaller organisations, or they opted to use an agency for their overflow work or sort of the bit part work that they did need done.
We’re starting to see a lot more of that sort of stuff occurring. Where we’ve got a bunch of fixed term contract roles on especially with enterprise organisations locally, a bunch of contract stuff, a bunch of remote stuff for Sydney and Melbourne based organisations, and honestly some internationals in there as well. So there’s definitely a reasonable amount of opportunity in that space. Contract money is usually better but obviously there are limits as to how secure that employment can be. And something that people don’t always consider with that whole piece. If you’re going for mortgages, if you’re going for personal loans, that sort of thing, if you’re working on what is technically a casual contract, lenders, mortgage brokers, et cetera, can turn their nose at that pretty aggressively. So if you’re at the point where your may be starting to settle down a bit, maybe not the best idea, but again it’s a case by case basis. This is pretty general advice. Sometimes if you’re looking to start families, settle down in housing, that sort of thing, a permanent role is what you’re going to want anyway just so you’ve got a bit of stability for the next three to five years.
More generally speaking, we here at NTP think that it’s pretty important to take a bit of a top-down view of your career every so often. Mat Finch said it best in one of our old NTP podcast episodes, you get your car serviced annually, every so often you’ll upgrade components in your computer, you’ll dust it out and you’ll get your can of compressed air, that sort of thing. I do appreciate the irony of me saying this while sitting in front of a Macbook. The bottom line is your career really should be no different. You should feel comfortable with the idea of doing a bit of a health check every so often, just to understand where you sit in that market, where your next move may need to be, and how to best approach that. I would argue that pound for pound the consultants that we have here at NewyTechPeople have the best insight on the local market, bar none.
We have the best top down view. We work with close to a hundred different companies locally, or have worked with at least a hundred companies locally. So we have a really good macro worldview of the Newcastle development market. And realistically, we’re a resource that you can absolutely tap into, come and pick our brain, come and grab a coffee, come and grab a beer, whatever floats your boat. And just have a chat, figure it out. I think it’s really important to have those conversations every so often. I think the concept of treating your career as almost a living breathing entity that you need to check on every so often, is a really important thing. And I think it’s a really good way to get the most out of your career.
So pretty much any tech stack when it comes to development. We’ve got a lead role available. So there’s heaps of that around at the moment. We’ve also got a bunch of mobile roles. And of course the usual suspects, your full-stack .NET, your full stack JS, your backend roles, you know, C#, C++, sort of embedded stuff, your Python roles, a bunch of pure front end roles. So look there’s, there’s a million things out there. Just come and have a chat to us. Let’s talk about it. Let’s do a bit of a health check on your career. And let’s see, what opportunities do exist out there? You know, you don’t have to go with the opportunities but it’s just nice to know that there is stuff out there.
Things happen. Companies take downward turns. Sometimes you have to make a move for reasons external to the company, external to your own situation, whatever. It’s good to have some understanding of the market and what potentially may lie ahead. So if you want to have a talk about that my number is on the screen. It’ll probably be in the bottom somewhere, my email as well, or reach out to me on the Newy slack. If you’re not a part of that already I would recommend joining it just cause it’s a good community where you can get some good insight into what’s happening locally. But really that’s it from me.
Thank you so much for watching or if I’m in like a background tab somewhere. Thanks for listening and not closing the tab thus far. But until next time, see ya.