How the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting software development hiring


Daniel Borowski
Tech x Talent


The labor market for software development has been incredibly competitive for years. Developers have typically had their choice of opportunities with increasingly lucrative compensation and benefit packages. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on a number of industries.

While some software companies like Zoom and Instacart are surging as they facilitate social distancing, software development overall is beginning to feel a negative impact. Here is a list of tech companies and their hiring status.

At Coderbyte, we are tracking and outlining the latest trends and leading indicators for the software development labor market using our proprietary dataset so that technical recruiters and developers can make informed decisions and mitigate the impact of this pandemic on their livelihoods. We will continue to update this article on an ongoing basis.

For context, more than 300,000 developers use Coderbyte to practice their coding skills, and 1,000 companies use Coderbyte for technical screening and hiring. We maintain strict privacy standards and have anonymized and generalized all data shown below.

Key findings and takeaways as of 6/1/2020

  • Software developers are very concerned about their physical and mental health
  • 45% of software developers say they are working more while in quarantine, while 31% say they are working the same amount and 24% say they are working less
  • Preparation for interviews and code screening assessments continue to remain at concerning levels
  • New data that we’ll be releasing soon indicates that many developers would like to remain working remotely, and would even consider a pay cut to be able to do so (rather than returning to an office)

Software developer health and wellness

Software developers are overall very concerned about their physical and mental health, which is something for current and future employers to consider as they manage wellness benefits and hiring processes. Productivity has likely increased, but it is unclear if it can be sustained long-term.

Software developer interview prep

After seeing a downturn in the ratio of software developers practicing their coding skills for the purpose of preparing for a job interview, April showed a rebound. May has proven inconclusive, but the worst is likely behind us.

Software developer interviews

Our Tech Hiring Index tracks the number of technical assessments being conducted by the top 24 staffing agencies, bootcamps, startups, and corporations on Coderbyte. There had been a steady decline from February to March, but it seems the market has bottomed out for now.

These assessments are given between 1 to 4 weeks before offers, so we expect this prolonged downturn to impact hiring in Q2 and likely Q3. We anticipate that this may impact the total number of software development jobs as well as decrease overall compensation packages.

Software developer job acceptance

Interestingly, the ratio of developers reporting finding a job dipped in April even while those signing up to prep for an interview increased in April. It is possible that the polarizing impact that COVID-19 is having on various industries is creating a lot of whiplash and seesawing for the software development market.

We’ll continue updating this article with the latest data.