Filling the Need for .NETProfessionals

Randy Gross, CIO, CompTIA
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Randy Gross, CIO, CompTIA

An examination of the current U.S. job market shows that software developer position continues to be in high demand and short supply. The number of job postings for application software developers exceeded 286,000 nationwide in Q2 2015, according to a new report from Burning Glass Technologies. That’s 98 percent more job openings than during Q2 of 2014. Equally impressive, job postings for systems software developers increased by 93 percent year over year, reaching more than 35,500 in Q2 2015.

A deeper dive into the numbers reveals that .NET developer and programmer positions rank among the top 10 of skills and titles cited in help wanted ads. This trend shows no signs of abating - according to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It forecasts that the number of .NET software developer and programmer jobs across the country will increase by 3.6 percent this year, to more than 1.8 million.

"A deeper dive into the numbers reveals that .NET developer and programmer positions rank among the top 10 of skills and titles cited in help wanted ads"

An examination of business priorities makes it clear why the demand for .NET skilled IT professionals continues unabated. A 2015 CompTIA survey of more than 1,500 IT executives in 14 countries found that reaching new customers was their top priority. Improving staff productivity, become more innovative and making more and better use of data analytics and business intelligence also cracked the top 10 priority list.

Is your organization on the hunt for .NET skills? If so, here are a few factors to consider in the job search and hiring process.

Key Responsibilities–A .NET software developer, engineer or programmer is typically responsible for writing code to generate web pages, access databases, business logic servers and other desktop, custom web, and mobile applications. A well-rounded developer is also versed in testing and quality control.

Top Industries and Markets for this Position – Virtually any business that generates its own computer programs or needs to personalize third-party software needs .NET professionals to architect, develop, test, maintain, support and upgrade the software solutions used by an organization. .NET developers, engineers and programmers are a top must-have for any company wanting to build new products or develop internal systems. Medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, financial services, scientific and general computing and technology are just a few of the industries with high demand for these skills.

Preferred Background – NET developers typically graduate with a bachelor's degree or higher level of education in computer science, mathematics or computer programming. Some employers may hire someone with an associate degree in computer studies provided the individual has significant programming knowledge and experience. Employers usually look for two to five years of web development and SQL Server experience, as well as a strong understanding of Visual Studio/.NET framework and multiple other computer languages (C#, C++, JavaScript, HTML, etc.).

Technology, Business and Soft Skills – Candidates should be comfortable with many areas of application development besides coding, such as unit testing. Experience in the "full lifecycle" of an application project – from initial planning and scoping to development, testing and integration is a big plus. .NET developers with an eye for user interface design have a distinct edge, too. Knowledge of technologies for rich media and applications is also desirable. Strong analytical skills and the ability to pay careful attention to detail are other keys to success. Also useful is the capacity to work well in groups and a willingness to understand the various roles played by fellow team members. Knowledge about the subject area in which they are working, or the intended audience, is valuable.

Top Challenges in Acquiring this Talent – With many businesses and industries in the market for .NET professionals, hiring demand is growing at a much faster rate than that of most other industries; and the current and future demand exceeds the supply, according to most surveys of hiring managers and recruiters.

Best Sources for Recruiting Individuals into this Role – Online job sites are the most common way IT professionals hear about new job opportunities. Social media outreach has also become more important in the hunt for new talent Consider making your current IT staff part of the recruiting effort to help attract others. It can help build up an active candidate database.

Salary – Developers who are expert users of Microsoft's software programming language .NET can make between $45,000 and $95,000. An individual with a background in a given field (financial services or healthcare, for example) might command a salary premium. Geographic factors also enter into the salary equation. The pay difference in markets such as New York, Denver and Washington can be up to 20 percent higher than the average salary.

Best Ways to Measure Success – Beyond the baseline requirements for measuring success – performance, communications, peer relationships, reliability – other factors to consider in evaluating job performance include:

• Leadership abilities and qualities
• Fiscal responsibility to projects and company
• Service excellence to customers (internal and external)
• Analytical skills
• Creativity and problem-solving skills

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