Is the growing need for cloud skills driving a global developer shortage?

Cloud Foundry have released findings from a global survey of IT executives which highlights an escalating gap in cloud skills which threatens enterprises’ ability to embrace digital transformation.

The survey finds companies are doubling down on training internal engineering teams to address the skills shortfall as digital becomes the modern business core competency.

“Historically, large enterprises outsourced management of their development technology needs,” said Sam Ramji, CEO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation. “Now, as digital transformation becomes core to the success of companies in diverse industries including financial services, insurance, and automotive, enterprises are coming to depend on their own employees to manage this shift. The rising need for individuals to develop and deploy software highlights the immense shortage of available talent to work in this rapidly growing field. This developer gap is rapidly widening as more enterprises become de facto software companies.”

In particular, the report highlights three findings from the research:

  1. There is a looming shortage of developers driven by non-tech companies’ need for developers. A majority (64%) of companies see the gap and is starting to feel its impact. As companies start their cloud journeys, including the use of more cloud-native architectures, broader use of containers and multi-cloud environments, they will feel the shortage more acutely. Most respondents (57%) state that this shortage has already impacted their ability to hire skilled people.
  2. Discrete technologies are in the greatest demand. Companies are prioritizing specialized skills such as mobile application development, language-specific coding and deployment on specific IAAS, while fundamental skills-such as continuous delivery, continuous integration and test-driven development-are notably the least in demand. The most in-demand skills are database (47%) and specific coding languages (Javascript, C++, Go, etc.) (46%) while only 40% of respondents classified continuous integration as a needed skill. These are closely followed by deploying on a specific infrastructure (38%) like Azure, AWS or Google Cloud Platform, and mobile application development (38%).


  1. Training is the preferred solution to address the skills shortage. Companies are looking to training to address these challenges, predominantly choosing to train existing employees over hiring new developers or outsourcing. The majority of companies (62%) express confidence in the abilities of their developers to “keep current” with their IT knowledge and skills. On an individual level, however, only 47% of developers express confidence in their own ability to keep current.

The research verifies the developer skills shortage is real and will grow more critical in coming months and years. With the near-term focus on immediate problems like mobile app development and databases, many companies are losing sight of the skills needed to take advantage of the long-term gain from cloud technologies. You can read the full report here.

Join the Twitter chat tomorrow (November 3) at 11am PST/2pm EST to discuss the research findings. Cloud Foundry Foundation’s Vice President of Industry Strategy Abby Kearns, and Chief Technology Officer Chip Childers will be participating along with other members in the community. Keep up with the conversation by using the hashtag #DeveloperGap.