Thanks to the spotlight that has been shone on the area for the past few years, finding talented developers in Tech City is easy. While Silicon Valley has long been heralded as the place to source the best talent in the tech world, that’s certainly no longer the case.
Universities across the UK are now the source for some of the brightest sparks globally and the popularity of computer science and technology degrees continues to rise. According to figures from UCAS, students that applied for computer science courses increased by 13 percent in 2014, over 2013, with 103,590 applicants.
With The Sunday Times league table of graduate salaries revealing that computer scientists from Oxford earn an average of £43,895 six months after graduating and those from Imperial College London and Cambridge also feature in the top ten, it’s likely applicants will continue to increase year-on-year.
Prior to Silicon Roundabout gaining its high profile, many of our brightest sparks secured jobs in financial services or consultancy firms as soon as they had their qualifications. After all, there’s a lot of money to be found developing and tuning technology in this sector. Now we’re seeing the tides turn and many of the best developers are now venturing out of banks and heading to innovative new startups where they can have a huge impact on a young company, help shape its future and have a say in where its product or service is heading.
Traditionally the churn rate for developers is high, with most only staying with a company for 18 months to two years, as they move on looking for new challenges in the industry. So once you have your talented team, how do you keep it?
Well it’s not all about offering a big pay cheque – although that does help. The culture at your company is just as important and people now place a huge amount of value on the opportunity to innovate. For example, providing a day a week for developers to work on personal projects that benefit either the wider software development community or your company is a fantastic way to keep the creative juices flowing. You could end up with numerous product enhancements, new applications or maybe even some open source projects that aim to help the community at large. Some great Huddle features have evolved from what our developers created during “Tuesday Time”.
Keep the work interesting, developers don’t just want to be fixing bugs all day. Providing training will develop new skills, benefitting the company just as much as the individual. The best way to attract talent is with talent, so hire recognised industry and technical experts that other developers admire and are keen to learn from.
It’s also about ensuring the teams are working together. Every team in the company has just as much to say and many great ideas, so get the whole team together to collaborate and share ideas. Customer success managers and sales teams are dealing with customers and prospects, day in – day out, so they’ll have a good sense of what people are demanding, updates that will make a big difference for people and how tools and services are being used on the ground. Don’t underestimate the little things that keep your staff happy, lifestyle bonuses and companies benefits (especially free food!) help create a great atmosphere at work.