Java Developer Hiring Trends

JAVA | 30 Mar 2020

Even though Java is one of the oldest programming languages, it still remains widely popular due to its constant evolution and addition of brand-new features. Java is used in a variety of applications and serves many industries, including finance and healthcare. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Java developers are seeing a high demand from employers.

Such a demand influences certain Java developer hiring trends that are based on the market needs, employers’ requirements, and tendencies of language development. These trends possess a big amount of valuable insights that can be used by recruiters, employers, and developers themselves. While recruiters and employers can learn about the developer’s behavior and preferences, the developers, in turn, can assess their skillset and knowledge, and see whether it corresponds to modern market needs.

The Popularity of Java Language: Statistics

Java is the #1 language tested on Devskiller, with SQL and JavaScript coming in at 2nd and 3rd place. In addition, Java remains in the top-5 most demanded programming languages for 2020, alongside Python and Javascript. The reason for such popularity lies in the fact that Java constantly evolves and offers new features to the developers that are aimed at facilitating and optimizing the development process.

If we talk about the type of companies that use Java the most, it would be large organisations with large teams. Even though Java is used in a fewer number of companies than Javascript, the size of the companies that utilize Java is enterprise-grade. This can probably be justified by the fact that Java is now used in such hot trends as reactive programming and machine learning - which small companies cannot usually afford to work on as such projects are often expensive and resource intensive. 

The Most Demanded Skills

A good Java developer is expected to be familiar with the most common tools used for Java development and have solid experience with them. Here are some of the most in-demand skills, according to the research:

  • Spring (includes knowledge of Spring and Spring Boot),
  • Android development,
  • AWS,
  • Git,
  • Docker,
  • Jenkins,
  • NoSQL databases.

An interesting fact about the majority of Java developers is that they mostly use Java 8 version and are merely familiar with Java 9 or Java 10. Thus, employers expect excellent knowledge of Java 8 and all of its powerful features, such as lambda expressions, Java Stream API, default and static methods for interface creation.

As well, employers started expecting Java developers to be familiar with DevOps and being confident with testing. DevOps can become the next step in one’s career growth which is especially important for Senior Java Developers. As for the testing, more and more employers and developers are starting to recognise the importance of testing skills among developers and thus, it is expected that good developers know their way around it. The basic testing tools for Java developers are JUnit 5 Library, Mockito, and Robot Framework.

The Most Popular Areas of Java Application

Java is used in a number of fast-growing areas such as:

  • Reactive programming,
  • Work with Big Data,
  • IoT,
  • Mobile app development.

All these trends heavily impact the digital transformation of the industries (i.e. AI in healthcare or Big Data in finance) so Java developers might want to get on board in order to work on the most high-demand projects. 

If we speak about the industries that use Java the most, they include finance, retail, gaming, and marketing. This can serve as a tip for Java developers in terms of where to find a future workplace. As for the employers, they can probably consider assembling a team of Java developers to work on a new project that could bring value to the company.

How Often Do Java Developers Change Their Job and What Does It Mean for HR?

Statistics show that most Java developers change their job every 2 years and this is a really short period of time. And if we investigate the reasons for such frequent job change, the most common are lack of interesting projects and lack of motivation and personal growth. 

This information is really valuable for HR specialists. By knowing that software engineers are prone to frequent job changes, recruiters can take additional measures to prevent this situation. For example, they can evaluate the work atmosphere and level of satisfaction of employees, propose a new personal development strategy etc. it’s worth thinking about valuable offerings that will impact the employee’s decision. 

It is in the company’s best interests to retain employees so HR specialists should adopt new strategies of attracting and retaining their brightest talents in order to build a long-lasting relationship with them.

Bonus Tip: How to Hire a Professional Java Developer

In order to hire the developers that are most suitable for specific projects, it is highly recommended to follow several best practices when it comes to hiring Java developers.

First, check that the job description lists down all the required skills and knowledge and fully corresponds to the needed position. In addition, describe the project and give specific details about it that might interest developers. An informative job description typically includes the required years of experience, the necessary skill set, the domain of the project and the key responsibilities that the developer will take on. Recruiters should also pay attention to certifications - they indicate that the developer’s knowledge and skills are validated and correspond to Java requirements in terms of quality.

Second, test each developer’s knowledge and conduct a technical interview. We already mentioned the tools that every good Java developer is expected to be familiar with. But there are also certain development practices to look for, such as multithreading, cache coherence, JVM, memory management, etc. A technical interview and a test task can successfully evaluate one’s knowledge and help the recruiter and the project manager understand whether the candidate is a good fit or not.

Summing up, Java is a constantly evolving language that sees a high level of demand and sets high standards for the developers. If one wishes to have a stable career in software development, Java may be one of the best choices.

Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Alex Zubel at Digital Knights partner SoftTeco. SoftTeco has successfully completed over 200 custom software development projects using a highly professional team of software engineers to clients from the USA, Europe, UK and Canada. They use the latest and most efficient technologies to adhere to high industry standards and ensure seamless quality and performance.

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