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Is there a software developer shortage in the Nordic region?

  • Posted on June 14, 2019

software developers shortage in Nordic region

Demand for software developers keeps growing as companies are working on process optimization, seeking ways to better engage users and to stay on top of new technologies. However, the demand for qualified software developers is growing at a much faster rate than the number of developers entering the workforce. According to fortune.com the Finnish IT industry struggled in 2016 to fill 7,000 programming jobs with only 2,258 ICT specialists entering the workforce during the same year (source: stat.fi). Of these 2,258 ICT specialists, not all specialize in software development, and some others were international students leaving the country after graduation. This doesn’t even take into consideration the number of developers retiring on a yearly basis. These are just a few factors that influence the market in the ICT industry, and this general tendency is very similar in all Nordic countries.

If you have worked in the industry or as a developer you most likely know that being a good developer requires lots of practice, patience, willingness to learn and re-learn, experimentation, the ability to think abstractly as well as logically and to accept and overcome failures. Due to the difficulty of keeping up with the constant changes in technology many of my colleagues who started as developers move towards management positions or open startups hoping to find an investor and finally become an independent entrepreneur. Many universities and colleges have already revised their programs and steered their focus towards these new market opportunities. However, training developers takes time and the recruitment market can’t wait. Finland and other Nordic countries are experiencing a shortage of software developers within their countries and are actively looking for alternatives.

Outsourcing is a great option for many Nordic countries but when choosing outsourcing it is important to understand the variety of options available and stick to the one that will work best for you:

  • Onshoring – this option implies that an external party is helping you and is located within the same county. Pros: similar working culture, no language barrier and easy to visit. Cons: the resource shortage within the country would be reflected in an hourly rate and overall product cost should be considered accordingly.
  • Offshoring – this option brings some negative connotations and feelings when people think about outsourcing in general. Offshoring implies that your partner is located in a distant country and brings minimal benefits outside of the attractive rates and an opportunity to increase hourly coverage for your business. Difference in culture, different time zone and communication barriers are just a few challenges mentioned across the Internet.
  • Nearshoring is another form of outsourcing and implies that your external partner is located in a neighboring country. This is a key difference between Offshoring and Nearshoring and this option manages to maintain its reputation. You still get similar benefits as Onshoring (similar cultures, easy to visit) but in addition it is also possible to get significant cost benefits. Before choosing this option make sure that language will not be an issue for successful communication.

My focus and goal is to bring software development services to Nordic countries as a nearshoring form of outsourcing. Our development office is located in Belarus and offers a number of benefits. Drop us a message to learn more.

– George Maksimenko, Head of Business Development

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