There is a clearly recognised shortage of software developers in the UK. January 2018’s Tech Nation report outlines, “Analysis of today’s labour market shows a total of 9,000 vacant JavaScript developer roles across London and the South East.

“That roughly equates to 210 new jobs roles being advertised every day. By comparison, the North West has, on average, 38 new roles advertised each day.”

What’s the cause?

Despite the need for developers, it is still difficult to obtain the appropriate training to enter or progress in the industry.  There is a clear gap in the current provision for developer education. This is currently either too basic or ad-hoc to provide the appropriate skills.

Alternatively, it is too complex and difficult to navigate for non-experts. There are few learning providers at the appropriate level in the UK. This is true of eLearning platforms, training centres and universities.

What is needed is a way to learn the most widely used languages in the industry.  And gain the skills to pass professional developer exams. Then locate and interview for developer roles. Learners need to be able to demonstrate their skills to potential employers.

Graham Hunter, CompTIA‘s Vice President for skills certification in Europe and the Middle East says, “With employer demand for tech talent routinely outstripping supply, the year ahead will force more organisations to rethink their approaches to recruiting, training and talent management.”

Many businesses struggle to find skilled employees. Their growth ambitions are limited by a shortage of good technical people – having skilled staff will help companies to grow.

Where are the developers?

Many people want accessible, affordable and trustworthy ways to become developers. They want the skillset to progress in the UK industry. Some will be reskilling from other industries such as manufacturing or retail. For example, former steelworkers in South Wales.

Women are significantly underrepresented in the industry. Training can be specifically designed to engage women. Courses can also be developed to appeal to different audiences with different backgrounds. For example, ethnic minority groups.

These potential learners are both individuals who enrol privately and organisations who may want to train their staff including apprentices.

How can we improve developer learning?

By filling a clear gap in the current provision, we can provide career opportunities for many people in the UK. It will benefit employers by providing skilled and motivated staff. As technology evolves at an enormous speed there is always a demand for more learning. More topical technical courses can be added, for example on big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning. Or whatever comes next!

You may like: Profile: Bath-based IT training company Talk-IT

David Ringsell

I am passionate about improving the way we learn and work with technology. Starting my career working on mainframe computers for ICL – including working for the European Union in a project team based in Luxembourg – I went on to lecture in computer science at Middlesex University and North London University.

As an entrepreneur, I have developed an innovative online platform that is used by a global audience to learn how to code. Visit the TalkIT website.