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Newy Dev Update: August 2020

26 Aug, 2020 | 08 mins 19 secs

Our Dev Update for August 2020 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!

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Liam Potter:

– Hey there and welcome to the August edition of The Newy Dev Update. Okay, so the market in Newcastle has been a bit interesting for the past couple of months, especially in the dev space.

And to explain this a bit better, I kind of have to lay down a bit of context. Historically, really, what happens in sort of the June/July period, we see an increase in hiring from larger organisations especially just because they’re hitting that sort of end of financial year period.

They’ve either got a lot of budget to work with and they want to rush hiring before they lose that budget as the financial year ticks over, or they hit the new financial year, they have new budget allocated and they can finally hire that person that they’ve really been needing for quite a long time.

Now, this sort of hiring pattern has happened to an extent, but the curve is a lot flatter, larger organisations in the area have all been hit super hard by COVID. You can see that by going and checking out annual reports of publicly traded companies, you can look at the hiring outlooks, so just looking at the traffic on Seek and so on by a lot of these companies.

They haven’t been as sort of gung ho as they would have been this time last year, but there has still been a bit of a jump. For a bit more information about the Newcastle tech jobs market in general, I really urge you to check out my colleague, James’, Newy Tech Job’s Update. It’s really good information.

He goes into a lot of detail as well as a lot of stats, which is great. We’ll link that one in the comments for you. Looking a bit more closely at the dev space there’s been a few interesting trends that I really wanna sort of pull out and flesh out a bit more.

First is the grad market. So historically, there’s grad roles that sort of get peppered out throughout the year but there’s not particularly a significant bump, but that’s kind of what we’re seeing at the moment. A few more companies are being a bit more willing to flesh out their dev teams, as opposed to looking for that senior who can do everything right away and hit the ground running.

You can attribute part of that to a bit of hesitation around COVID and senior dev salaries can be pretty lofty. Grad level, obviously quite a bit smaller, and really grads are a lot more moldable. So we’re seeing a bit more around in that space, which is really cool to see because it hasn’t always been the case that a dev in Newcastle who’s just graduated can really get their foot in the door super easily.

So if you are in that boat where you’ve maybe recently graduated or you’re close to graduating, you might graduate in December. I’d really urge you to check out our last month’s episode of The Newy Dev Update.

I had a chat to a guy called Sean Bailey who’s a dev at NIB, and the way he went about it from my personal opinion was one of the best ways I’ve seen a grad go about getting hired. So I really, really urge you to check that video out as well. We’ll throw that in the comments. And the other one I really wanna talk about and the one I’m really excited about to be honest, native mobile devs, there’s a fair few ads out at the moment.

There’s a few organisations hiring a few different roles, which is really, really good to see. Organisations in Newcastle, historically they’ve used like a mobile development framework, like a Xamarin or a PhoneGap or something like that. Or they’ve contracted their mobile dev out to a Sydney org, Melbourne org, or maybe overseas as well. So to see these native mobile dev jobs happening in Newcastle, it’s really awesome and I hope it’s the start of a bit more of an ecosystem in this space.

Look, these roles really, they only come up a few times a year at the best of times, and it’s usually only one or two. And I think we have maybe six or seven in the market at the moment. So to have that level of growth happening in this space is really, really good to see. And if you are in that space, I really urge you to be looking at the market as aggressively as you can right now, because it’s a great time for you.

If you’ve got a good handle on Swift or Objective C for iOS or Java or Kotlin for Android, there are jobs out there for you at the moment. They’re good jobs, they’re paying well, they’ve got good flexibility and they’ve got good growth potential. So if you’re maybe a bit stagnant in your current role, you may have been effected by COVID, I really urge you to check out the market so you can talk to us. We’ll put my contact details down the bottom as well. I’d be more than happy to have a chat.

Now I’ve talked about grads. I’ve talked about mobile devs and I’m gonna kinda mash the two into one subject matter here. Really, there’s not too many people in Newcastle with that native mobile dev skillset. If you look for people with Swift on the tool belt and LinkedIn in Newcastle, I think there’s maybe 20. So there’s definite prospect for growth in that market.

Now I’m not saying you need to be an expert in this field by any stretch. You don’t have to have been using Swift since 2014. You don’t have to have been using Objective C since 2008. You don’t have to have been using Kotlin since it came out, but it’s really, really good to have a bit of a handle on this skillset. So you can sort of augment your existing skillset and become a bit more desirable to employers because realistically, this is a skillset that’s already in pretty high demand in the region, and it’s not going to slow down.

Considering the usage rates between mobile and desktop for a lot of customer facing platforms for a lot of these large organisations in Newcastle, a lot of them are putting a really, really significant focus on hiring people with that mobile skillset, or at least an awareness of responsive design and so on. So it’s really, really a good way to augment your skillset and get yourself a bit more credibility and a bit more noticed.

Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s very easy for me to say, just go and learn these things actually doing it is another thing, but I’ve done a bit of research. I’ve done a bit of digging myself and it’s a lot more accessible than you think.

So there’s really there’s the usual suspects like your Code Academy, Udemy, that sort of stuff, but there’s a few options that I really wanna sort of draw out, that I think are really, really impressive. So, first is Swift Playgrounds by Apple. Has to be really the most user friendly way to learn programming that I’ve seen aside from doing Scratch in high school. It’s super well structured. It’s super easy to first attack. It gives you a really, really solid tutorial where it shows you physically where you need to type, how to deploy that sort of stuff. And it can be ran on an iPad as well as macOS, which is great. So you don’t have to have a full desktop computer to be able to do it. It provides some really well structured experiences that run you through the process of developing an app and actually sort of getting it out there. It gives you the fundamentals like For Loops and functions and that sort of thing, but it also shows you how to actually build a cohesive app and how to really get to the point where you can actually deploy something on the app store, which is awesome. It’s free, it’s super easy to use. I think the download for macOS is maybe 5 GB and I’ve spent probably 20, 30 hours in it. And it’s such a good way to get your foot wet.

On the other side of the mobile fence is the training built ap by the Android project team to learn Kotlin for Android mobile development. Similar sort of structure, it’s really paced out to try and give you a really easy progression pathway in really sort of bite sized opportunities to learn. So you can sink 20 minutes a day into it. And you keep learning bit by bit, which is great. It’s really, really accessible. You can run it on any sort of desktop computer, it’s obviously free and it’s, again, a really good experience, really accessible.

It spells everything out for you. So you can go from literally zero programming knowledge to actually deploying something that’s usable in a matter of months. So we’re going to link both of those solutions in the comments below.

I really, really urge you to have a look because they’re such an awesome tool and it’s free. Really that mobile skillset is one that not enough developers have in Newcastle, especially that native mobile skillset. You know, a lot of people will have PhoneGap or Cordova or Xamarin or something like that on the resume. And that’s great.

A lot of employees are going to that native app ecosystem because it’s a better user experience generally. There are a lot of good opportunities out there and a lot of organisations that really are starting to put a lot of increasing value on having that skill set. So if you sink a bit of time into it, realistically, you’re putting yourself at such a great advantage when compared to the rest of the competition. Anyway, that’s probably enough from me for this episode.

If you want to pick my brain on a few of the things that we’ve discussed, I know we have discussed a fair bit, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Send me a message or you can give me a ring on 0426962965.

Really for now, stay safe, enjoy the weather ’cause it’s actually kind of warm again and I’ll see you soon.

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