How Software Developers Can (And Should) Prepare For The Coming Recession
Article by JobTerix IN DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION - 7/15/2022
It looks increasingly likely that we are approaching a recession with inflation at record highs and interest rates at a level not seen since 1994. As a result of all this financial instability, many people wonder whether software developers would be affected, if this is true. What would a recession mean for developers? Is software development a recession-proof career?
Most people believe that having a software developer job makes you immune to things like a recession because tech companies keep afloat even in downtimes. However, some of the biggest global companies have laid off employees recently and put out a hiring freeze, including Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft's workforce has decreased from 183,000 full-time employees to 181,000. That’s 2,000 tech workers now looking for another job. It happens across all professions.
Which types of developers would be most affected by a recession?
Entry-level and junior software developer jobs, most likely. Finding a job as a junior developer has always been more difficult than finding a job as a mid-level or senior developer. You’re in demand when you have skills and experience. A “tech recession” will, unfortunately, impact entry-level software developer jobs the most. That is not to say that mid-level or senior developers won't be affected, as we’ve already seen. It depends on the company, its assets, and how many employees it can afford to retain.
How Can You Prepare For This?
The U.S. economy has been on a slow, but steady recovery since the financial crisis of 2008. Anyone with a knowledge of financial history knows that the economy fluctuates. It’s up for a while, then it dips.
It’s important to understand what these changes might mean for your career as a software developer and how you can prepare for them.
- Make sure you’re properly diversified.
The first thing that developers need to do is make sure they are properly diversified, both within their own careers and across their personal assets. In other words, don’t depend on only one source of income.
The best way to do this is by diversifying your skillset as much as possible so that if one type of project dries up or goes away completely, you still have some other options available that can keep bringing in income for you. This means making sure that you have skills like design or marketing in addition to development skills — even if they aren’t directly related to software development!
- Build your personal brand.
One of the best things you can do as a software developer is to build your personal brand. If other people know about you and your work, then they’ll come back to you when they need something done. Whether it’s building them an app or website from scratch or just doing some one-off work for them when they need it, having a reputation will open up opportunities for more work down the road when times get tough.
- Start freelancing.
Freelancing is one of the most flexible careers available for Backend, Front End, or Full Stack Software Developers in today's economy, especially since most businesses now rely heavily on technology (and therefore software). Even entry-level and junior developers can freelance. Take a few classes in software developer bootcamp to learn some new skills and market yourself.
This is one of the best ways to make money because it allows you to work remotely and pick and choose what projects you want to work on — unlike most full-time jobs where you have little control over where you work or what projects you'll be working on next month.
Sign up with Jobterix, a marketplace that matches developers with opportunities to increase their income. As a freelancer you’re your own boss, so you can work with as many companies as you like.