Montreal Software Developer Market Survey

In January 2021, Avansai conducted a market survey to better understand what information managers use to screen software developers. A total of 59 respondents shared their views with us. We will use this information to redefine how Avansai serves its clients and its candidates. We also thought it would be useful to share this data with our larger community. If you are looking to hire software developers put your trust in Avansai’s knowledge of the market to help you find the right candidates. Software developers looking to explore the market we can help get you the opportunity you’re looking for. Feel free to get in touch with us, and we will be happy to support your business.

Importance of candidate information when screening software developers

Based on our survey, here are the aspects of a candidate profile that hiring managers are relying on when screening software developers. Years of experience as a software developer is at the top in terms of importance for most managers. While certifications clearly seem irrelevant (one would wonder why we are getting so much certification spam on LinkedIn). Also, another interesting aspect is “Previous or Current Position Titles”. For those who think that titles are important, they only seem so for 30% of hiring managers, probably because they vary from business to business.

What about programming languages?

Programming languages ranked 6 out of 14 on the screening question which seems low. However, 95% of hiring managers confirmed that it is a very important criterion when recruiting a software developer. There are only a few managers who are ready to hire someone without the programming language they require due to the higher ramp-up time. This is usually applicable to junior roles or when the position requires expertise that is very hard to get.

Specific Frameworks, Libraries, and Tools 

Although less important than programming languages, a lot of hiring managers are looking for specific Frameworks, Libraries, and tools experience.

80% of the respondents agree that specific frameworks, libraries, and tools are important to them when screening software developer candidates. The other 20% might be explained by specific requirements associated with the type of roles hiring managers typically recruit for. Not all projects require frameworks and the ramp-up time is often faster than for a programming language.

Importance of Education

During the screening, education was 9th out of 14 in terms of importance. This is aligned with the 76% of respondents who would interview a candidate who has the right experience but no education. Technology roles are known to have many self-taught experts on the market. Amongst developers, there is no hierarchy of expertise based on past education, hands-on experience prevails. Even for career growth and promotion, most companies will perform evaluations based on performance; education will have little impact, unlike some other professions.

Importance of previous and current positions

Experience ranked higher. 3 out of the top 5 criteria used during the screening process are related to previous and current positions. We can see that in responsibilities, duration in a role, and employers.

When managers were asked if they would interview a candidate without information on their previous position, even if they had a summary of their experience, 76% responded that they would not interview these candidates.

At Avansai we believe that the part that is most inconsistent in resumes is often the section about positions. Our goal is to find a better way for hiring managers to get their information efficiently.

Comparing other factors

To the search, we wanted to compare less important factors like company culture and company size with something more important: projects and contribution.

The result is not surprising 85% of respondents found that projects and contribution was the most important factor.

It’s common for software developers to ask themselves questions like “will I be stuck in startups if I work too long in a startup?”. Based on the result, it doesn’t look like the size of the employer will have a big impact when searching for a new opportunity.

Company culture is often neglected as an important factor but overall is perceived as more important than the size. Of course, this is not a rule that applies to all cases, some companies with bigger sizes might have projects that startups will never be able to fund. Startups might offer a better environment to learn end-to-end development. It’s a bit hard to get a good idea of someone’s skill by the size of a company. If you know they have worked too long for an employer with a bad reputation, it will most likely have a bigger impact on the overall recruiting process.

Interested in exploring new opportunities?

Fill out our Career Matrix so we can get a better understanding of what the right opportunity looks like for you. If you want to learn more about the Montreal IT market you can always reach out to Corey or Jason our avansai advisors

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