Software Talent Tops The List In Door64’s First Hiring Survey

Austin’s burgeoning ecosystem of startups is in high gear, buoyed by the rise of cloud-based infrastructure, mobile development, and cleaner technologies. Behind that growth is a vibrant tech community of software engineers, analysts and project managers. But what about more established companies? What types of skills are hiring managers seeking? That’s what Austin’s largest tech community, Door64, wants to answer with the initial release of its Hiring Priority Survey.

“We all know, it is often one or two key holes in a company that can impede growth,” said Door64 founder, Matt Genovese. “We are stepping up and surveying the hiring managers of a set of sizable Austin area technology companies every quarter starting now with today’s survey results, to get deliberately granular about what these hiring shortages are.”

Door64 gathered more than 100 responses and whittled down the results to represent more than 50 managers with companies in full business operations. When polled on their top 3 hiring priorities from 15 specific categories, 56% cited software as number one, more than hardware, semiconductor and Information Technology (IT) skills – combined.

The IT component was the closest category after software, tallying a meager 20%. That shows enterprises are eager to get new apps and toolsets to market, with extra lift coming from the mobile space as iPads and smartphones continue to proliferate.

Digging deeper into the software category, four skills accounted for 40% of hiring priorities, with Java, User Interface / User Experience (UI/UX), Software Quality Assurance, and .NET skills topping all others. The UX needs aren’t surprising with the challenges of adoption in large enterprises, and as Door64 notes, neither is the Ruby on Rails results.

“Ruby is often used in the earliest stage build of technology companies, and startups were not included in the survey,” it said in a prepared statement.

Conversely, the data showed Java is still the front-runner in Austin’s enterprise market, as it garnered 16% of responses in the software category, good enough for 30% of total software needs. That seems to mesh with what’s happening on a larger scale. The bigger companies are tying together applications, building private and public clouds, and launching all sorts of mobile capabilities. Enterprise java is often the glue that unifies these disparate systems. And java demand likely won’t see a slow-down as business units continue push the consumerization of IT.

One other thing that jumped out was the SharePoint piece, Microsoft’s 800-pound gorilla for corporate collaboration. Door64 says only one or two companies even mentioned it. Some of that can be attributed to an organization’s size, but the cloud is also eating away at SharePoint. I’d guess companies are realizing the cloud model works pretty well for breaking off pieces of your collaboration needs, not to mention easing the the maintenance and integration often associated with SharePoint.

Two other skills, Database Architects (DBA), and PHP developers, also sparked little interest. It would be interesting to hear more details from the respondents on this one. With big data’s rise, I’d wager most good DBAs are transitioning to some of the open source data engines and honing in on the demand to make sense of unstructured data. Just a hunch.

Lastly, and highly welcomed, Door64 says it’s planning to formalize its findings and poll 100 or so local technology companies each quarter and publish those results to an Austin Index of sorts.

But wait, there’s more. They’re also applying the findings to the Austin Pain-point Job Fair coming up June 29 at the AT&T Conference Center at University of Texas. You might call it a data-driven job fair. How fitting. :)

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About George Dearing

George Dearing writes about technology, startups, and sustainability.
He advises clients on strategy and communications. You can follow him on Twitter here