What developers want and how to keep them on your team

OutSystems released a new developer jobs report identifying the factors that motivate them to stay with their companies and the frustrations that drive them away. The report, Developer Engagement Report: Are Your Developers Happy or Halfway Out The Door?, draws on data from 860 global developers from different backgrounds to identify trends regarding satisfaction and retention of developers, and provide best practices for IT leaders to avoid developer burnout and turnover.

developers satisfaction

“We continue to be amazed by how IT leaders and developers around the globe continue to innovate in the face of challenges. However, with a global talent shortage of over one million developers, IT leaders will not be able to hire their way out of the challenges they face in response to the insatiable appetite for building high-performance, quality software,” said Gonçalo Gaiolas, Chief Product Officer of OutSystems.

“Instead, they need technologies that will optimize resources, alleviate workloads, and supercharge developer productivity. IT leaders who understand the benefits of various tools can support advanced development techniques, including specific developer coding preferences, while easing the friction, toil, and resource issues that continually test developer motivation and frustration.”

Key findings on developers’ satisfaction and retention

Developers love their jobs, but are less satisfied with day-to-day work: Globally, 64% of respondents say they “love” their jobs, yet only 46% say they are very satisfied with the day-to-day elements of their jobs. Overall, US developers seem less happy than their global counterparts. Only 49% of US developers love their jobs, yet only 37% are very satisfied with their day-to-day work.

Retention is a challenge: Globally, 48% of developers said they would definitely be with their current company a year from now — and that percentage falls to 29% when looking two years out. For US developers, the numbers were even lower. Only 38% said they would definitely be with their current company in one year and only 18% felt they would in two years.

US developers are leading in work-life balance: US developers feel significantly better overall about their work-life balance. While 50% of respondents strongly agreed they need better work-life balance, only 30% of US developers felt the same.

The grass isn’t always greener: While slightly more US developers are seriously considering changing companies right now (33% US vs. 31% globally), they feel less confident about their prospects. Only 25% of US developers strongly agreed that there are many opportunities to easily get a better position right now, compared to 42% of global respondents.

Development techniques matter: The impact of low-code solutions

With the significant rise of low-code as a streamlined development technique, the report investigates developers who use low-code as a subset of the larger developer community. Results indicate low-code developers – most of whom also use traditional coding languages alongside low-code – experience greater satisfaction around workload, shorter work weeks, more career growth, and fewer other factors that contribute to burnout.

  • More than half of low-code developers reported that they were “very satisfied” with both team productivity (59%) and the quality of tools at their disposal to complete their work (57%). Conversely, less than half of traditional code users reported similar feelings around team productivity (41%) and developer tools (36%).
  • More than 71% of low-code users said they were able to stick to the typical 40-hour work week, compared to only 44% of traditional developers. Additionally, 63% of low-code developers indicate they are happy with their salary and benefits compared to 40% of traditional developers.
  • Low-code developers have received an average of 3.5 job promotions at their current company, while traditional developers have been promoted just 2.0 times.

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