Alex Staff Agency

Results of the year in the IT industry 2021

Research: IT and HR analytics

The global economy of 2021 was rocked by waves of border openings and closings around the world. Outbreaks of the coronavirus forced countries to take measures such as travel restrictions and the introduction of covid passports. As a result, there was an atmosphere of uncertainty: many people did not know if relocation was possible, or if it was worth it in such "turbulent" times.

And it is not that difficult to leave, even with closed national borders. The main thing is to have the desire to move. For example, the Czech Republic, Germany, Cyprus, and other countries provide work visas for Russian-speaking specialists even in the lockdown mode.

Yes, our reality has changed a lot in the last two years. But 2021 is remarkable because, during this period, people and companies have adapted to the new circumstances. As for business, new opportunities opened up for the IT-industry in terms of growing demand for digital products and experienced developers.

Results of the year in the IT-industry: major trends

Boom of remote work

The practice of working remotely began in 2020 and continued in 2021. Motion Recruitment, a U.S. recruiting agency, published data showing a 357% increase in demand for remote workers in leading IT fields.

This format of work does not depend on closed borders and promotes the growth of multinational teams. Studies show that specialists from different countries work more effectively together, and the results of such cooperation are more valuable.

Previously, Ukrainians were the main flow of candidates. They developed a reputation for high-quality programmers with a high level of English. It was the same with the Belarusians. But recently, some of them have had a big increase in salary expectations, and others have become bad with political stability, due to which many employers began to cooperate with programmers from Russia. They are not inferior in hard skills, but often do not know English, which leads to difficulties in hiring for foreign projects.

A rising star is Kazakhstan with its new generation of specialists. These guys are great at the modern stack, speak English, and are willing to work for lower rates.

The rise of individual IT industries

The maximum rise compared to previous years is observed in the game segment. In 2020, gamedev earned $159 billion, in 2021 that number increased to $175.8 billion, and in 2022 that number is projected to grow to $190 billion.

Among all platforms, the biggest growth is in mobile games, whose total revenue in 2021 reached $90.7 billion (+4.4% year-on-year). It may seem that this is a temporary phenomenon and that after the successful fight with the coronavirus everything will return to its previous course and the sphere will go down. But experts predict growth thanks to cloud and 5G technologies, in which the tech giants are so actively invested. They will expand the range of gaming experiences and create an extra boost for the industry. Learn more about the state of the gaming industry in our article.

In 2020, global AI revenues reached $296.7 billion, in 2021 - $341.8 billion. Active investment in such projects has led to the emergence of many unicorn startups. For example, Clari (a platform for sales analytics), Socure (a remote identity verification tool), Tonal (a smart home trainer with video instructions), Dremio (a service for SQL analytics), etc.

In 2020, cloud-based distributed computing infrastructures earned a combined $219 billion, and in 2021 they will earn $445.3 billion. The benefits of technology are attracting more customers due to accessibility from anywhere in the world (especially convenient for distributed and international projects), savings for companies (no hardware costs) and flexibility of use (data at your fingertips from any device). In 2021, AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform are leading the way. Their shares of total revenues in this IT market were 32%, 20% and 9% (data for the first quarter).

The global blockchain market earned $3.06 billion in 2020 and $4.68 billion in 2021. By 2028, this sector will reach $104.19 billion. Popular blockchain platforms include Ethereum (Python, Go, C++), Hyperledger Fabric (Python), EOS (C++). You need to be well versed in key areas for successful work with such technology (e.g., smart contracts), know specialized languages (Solidity, etc.) and have experience with Web 3.0 and DeFi.

In 2020 the income of applications for iOS and Android systems rose to $111 billion, which is 24% more than in the previous year. At the same time, the main share came from games - 71% of the total amount. This growth continued in 2021, crossing the threshold of $133 billion.

The IT specialist market

According to the survey from Stack Overflow, the most popular IT positions in 2021 are:

  • Full-stack Developer (49.47%)
  • Back-end Developer (43.73%)
  • Front-end Developer (27.42%)
  • Web-Developer (16.6%)
  • Mobile Developer (14.74%)

However, if you analyze the direction of the major industries, more high-paying jobs await in 2022:

  • Cloud Architect
  • Blockchain Engineer
  • Game Developer
  • AI Developer
  • Cybersecurity Engineer
  • Software Analyst
  • DevOps Engineer

Who lost their positions

Among the less in-demand specialists, Ruby developers stand out. According to Stack Overflow, Ruby ranked 12th on the list of languages used in 2019 (8.4%), and 14th in 2020 (7.1%). The more popular languages and frameworks that perform better are most often chosen to create projects now instead of Ruby. For example, the Go language. The same happens with Objective-C (falling from 4.8% to 4.1%), which is inferior to Swift.

According to Gartner, some professions will be replaced by powerful algorithms. For example, the Honeycode service already allows making applications without knowledge of code or the basics of programming. Professionals who perform simple and formulaic tasks are losing relevance. That is why flexibility and development in several prospective areas are important.

Salaries of IT specialists

This year has been a turbulent year for the industry with skyrocketing income levels for IT professionals. The increase in demand for developers has led to a staffing shortage, resulting in increased competition in recruitment. Some companies have adapted to these changes, while others have not always kept up with rising salary expectations.

On the Stack Overflow website, more than 80,000 respondents took part in an annual survey of programmers. Based on this data, here's how much high-demand specialists earn per month:

  • Engineering manager – $7996
  • Senior Executive (C-Suite, VP, etc.) – $7916
  • Engineer, site reliability – $7000
  • DevOps specialist – $5855
  • Data scientist or machine learning specialist – $5268

For the most part, these figures reflect the reality in those regions of the United States where large development centers are concentrated (Silicon Valley, Seattle and other major cities). Developers earn high profits at large companies and startups with explosive growth, but the cost of living in such places is also high.

Let's look at one promising field (e.g. DevOps) and compare offers for 2020 and the end of 2021.
Note: these are not median values, but real job openings from employers, taken from popular job boards like Glassdoor and PayScale, as well as recruiting agencies by countries.
This is how the changes look like for a DevOps engineer:
Created by using Google Charts
And here's what was going on at the gamedev-developers:
Created by using Google Charts
Somewhere there was a significant increase and somewhere a small increase, but still. Of course, it all depends on the language(s) in which the programmer writes. It also depends on the stack, work experience, additional skills in related disciplines, and soft skills.

Will IT salaries grow in 2022?

The rapid development of the IT industry has led to a significant increase in salary expectations of €1500-2000. If iOS developers at the beginning of the year were ready to work for €3500, now you will not find a specialist who will agree to a salary of less than €5000. DevOps engineers were interested in vacancies for €3200-3500, and then they rapidly raised their price rates to €4500. And so with any popular it-area.

Это довольно стремительные скачки. В IT-отрасль пришли большие инвестиционные деньги, появился спрос на программистов, которые, в свою очередь, отреагировали на такие изменения на рынке и подняли стоимость своих услуг. Не все бизнесы успевали за такими переменами. Так что в следующем году ход за компаниями: они будут увеличивать зарплатные бюджеты, чтобы выровнять свои финансовые возможности с пожеланиями кандидатов. Если вам интересно, что они готовы предложить сейчас, смотрите вакансии на Alex Staff Agency.

And if you look at specific countries, you get the following situation:

  • The situation with Ukrainian specialists will be largely influenced by the law on the special status of the Дія City (It was adopted in December 2021). We will see how it will be implemented and how the market will react to it. It may lead to the need to register an employee on the staff in a Western company (which is disadvantageous to employers) or to an even greater increase in salary expectations to compensate for the new tax rates.
  • Programmers from Kazakhstan are in increasing demand, and their rates are now much lower than their competitors from neighboring countries, which means they can count on a steady increase in salary.
  • Russian developers have become increasingly popular in the last two years; the country has a strong technical background, but candidates often have problems with their knowledge of English. IT professionals who will learn English have a high chance of getting a great job.

We hope we have been helpful to you. Stay tuned and see you with our new articles next year!