Debunking Developer Myths

When HackerRank asked engineers to list their top hiring challenges in 2018, 41% pointed to an overall lack of candidates, while 28% noted a lack of diversity.

Scaling your team with the right developers – and diverse developers – sometimes feels like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be. It only becomes impossible when we believe common hiring myths to be true. In this report, we debunk the four industry-wide myths that limit high-growth companies from staying competitive in the global fight for technical talent.

The Senior Developer Myth

Senior developers aren’t born. They begin as junior developers who are hired for their potential and given the opportunity to develop their skill set. You’ll be hard pressed to find brilliant developers with decades of experience (and an affordable price tag) simply hiding under the radar. What you will find, however, are thousands of smart, driven, and capable young developers ready to lend their skills and fresh perspectives to your company’s work. Hiring these junior developers should be viewed as a strategic investment in the future of your company.

It’s an investment in the future of the global tech industry as well. Collectively, we need to develop these young minds to fill a growing number of vacant positions: A report released last year by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine warns that the number of open jobs in the computing industry is already far greater than the number of qualified graduates, resulting in more than a million jobs left unfilled by 2020.

Training young programmers to become strong senior developers should be seen not as an idealistic dream, but as a pragmatic necessity to fuel the rapid growth of the industry. Today’s tech companies cannot simply keep trading a small cadre of senior developers—and an even smaller group of diverse senior developers—back and forth among themselves. Instead, we must nurture and mentor junior developers who will form the talent base to power future growth. Certainly, not all early-stage companies can be called upon to hire less experienced developers, but large companies that can afford to take on junior staff should feel a responsibility to ensure that our industry invests in its future leaders.

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