How the rise of freelance software developers affects the IT Industry in 2024Jan 22, 2024
1.5 million freelance software developers: how they shape the IT industry in 2024
Did you know that Upwork, one of the biggest freelance exchanges, has over 10 million developers as active users? The freelance software development market is mushrooming; meanwhile, The Economist names tech among core freelancing verticals.
Why should you consider independent software contractors as fuel for your digital transformation in 2024? How does Flexible work in software engineering affect IT companies' workflow? Read on to find the details.
The rapid growth of freelance software developers: facts and reasons
The tech freelance surge driven by the pandemic and younger talents fundamentally alter traditional IT workflows and strategies. COVID-19 became the core reason businesses opted for the remote-first approach, and talents felt working from home was more convenient and safe.
Now, one of the main business goals for the software development workforce was to bring people back to offices. Most of them decided that being a freelancer is more profitable and flexible than working on-site on one project only. According to MBO Partners, from 2020 to 2022, the total number of full-time freelancers grew by an equally impressive 59%.
This shift affected companies as well. For example, following Fiverr, 78% of businesses rely on freelancing in 2023 rather than adding staff. A skilled and reliable freelancer with a solid background in software development means significant IT budget savings. Moreover, it helps companies hire top software developers in a few clicks without going through the time-consuming selection process.
To sum up, software development freelancing is growing exponentially because of the 3 reasons:
- The pandemic changed the mindset of software developers, Millennials and Gen-Z
- Tech talents can gain a versatile experience and save flexibility when working on different projects
- The global crisis makes companies look for cost-effective solutions and save time they could spend on the hiring process
Software development freelancing trends for 2024
Experience vs. Rate: Generation Z software developers may offer lower rates to corporations or startups focused on innovation. They place a high value on working with the latest technology and ongoing learning prospects. In 2024, businesses and platforms serving freelancers should emphasize attractive pay and chances for career growth and skill enhancement.
Lack of talent in narrow niches: Most companies experience a lack of in-house expertise when it comes to emerging technologies like GenAI. It makes businesses find developers via freelance exchanges since skilled pros in this field cost a lot when working full-time.
Impact of freelancing on IT companies' workflows
Businesses increasingly integrate freelancers into their projects, requiring more flexible project management approaches. It allows companies to access a diverse talent pool and specialized skills that are not always available in-house. Businesses also adopt blended workforces, mixing teams of permanent and freelance employees to benefit from external expertise and manage skilled worker shortages.
Remote work in IT: pros and cons for devs and businesses
The rise of independent software contractors is another emerging trend to consider, as it can bring real value to businesses and cover all the core pain points companies face now, such as a lack of resources or an experienced workforce.
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