Unaddressed developer burnout risks derailing digital transformation

Front-end developer salaries rise by as much as 40% in London, but skills shortages continue to bite as organizations struggle to attract digital talent.

The pandemic has caused a boom in digital transformation and investment in technology-driven services. But as businesses push to innovate, they struggle to find fresh talent to aid stretched developer teams, according to Dynatrace. This has been made clear by research showing that 72% of tech teams have a skills shortage. Businesses are trying to fill these roles, with 2 million vacancies for tech jobs advertised between May 2021 and 2022. Organisations are also willing to reward candidates generously for the value they bring to the business through these roles, with tech salaries nearly 80% higher than those for non-IT jobs in the UK. Calculations by Dynatrace, based on average salary data published by recruitment specialists, Michael Page, in its ‘A Guide to Salaries and Skills: Technology’ reports for 2021 and 2022 reveals:

Front-end developer salaries increased by 22% on average and by 40% at the lower end of the scale

DevOps engineer salaries increased by 22% on average and by 29% at the lower end of the scale

However, despite this significant annual uplift in salaries, organisations are still struggling to recruit developers quickly enough as the digital skills shortage continues to bite. The difficulty in attracting fresh talent to their teams is piling on the pressure for existing developers, as their workload increases faster than the workforce can grow. If it goes unaddressed, this could increasingly lead to developer burnout, putting digital transformation at risk.

“To enable the digital transformation businesses are heavily investing in, they need to ensure they have the right skills in place,” said Greg Adams, Regional Vice President, UK & Ireland, Dynatrace. “Developers are under significant pressure to keep up with innovation cycles, and talent shortages create more work for existing teams. This leads to developer burnout as teams cannot cope with mounting workloads. Organisations need to do more than increase salaries if they are to reduce developer burnout, otherwise, they risk derailing their digital transformation journeys.”

To reduce the risk of burnout, organisations need to reduce unnecessary work and enable developers to spend their time on tasks that matter. To do so, they need to automate as many of their routine, easily repeatable processes as possible. This will allow developers to spend more time on innovation and less on manual efforts to keep the lights on. As a result, teams will be less likely to feel the pinch where there is a shortage of talent and keep digital transformation on track.

“In too many organisations, developer teams are maxed out yet facing increasing pressure to deliver more innovation,” continues Adams. “Investing in more resources in isolation isn’t a sustainable solution. Automation, however, can create a real step change. Augmenting developers' skills with automation reduces the need for them to manually conduct routine, highly repetitive tasks in the delivery pipeline. This enables developer teams to focus on developing new features and services and ultimately speed up the delivery of innovation.”

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