Tech

Despite the downturn, skilled tech workers were quickly hired.

According to Craig Freedberg of recruitment firm Robert Half, companies will likely hire temporary tech workers rather than expanding their workforce during the current economic downturn. However, the boom in remote work could have a ripple effect on Silicon Valley's attraction for software engineers and developers. While author Margaret O'Mara does not anticipate a big exodus from the area, venture capitalist Lu Zhang sees a shift towards leveraging talent outside of Silicon Valley and remotely hiring from other tech hubs.

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Jaydeep Vacchani, a software developer in Toronto, managed to secure a new job despite the surge of layoffs in the technology sector during the pandemic. His expertise in automation and cloud technology proved to be in high demand and he had five interviews by October. In November, he found a “perfect fit” at sherpa°, a remote-only tech firm that provides online visa documentation services. Mr Vacchani values working with a company focused on user experience, particularly as he had difficulty obtaining the correct visa paperwork when he moved from India to Canada. His skills in coding with Javascript and managing cloud infrastructure made him a valuable asset to the company’s automation team. Despite the high number of layoffs, Mr Vacchani was not fazed due to the demand for his skills.

Alex Gogan, VP of Engineering at sherpa°, looks for qualified candidates who excel at creative and collaborative work for software developer roles. While the startup initially sought to hire generalists in the tech sector, it is now looking for specialists who can scale the company and provide mentoring to others. The tech industry has seen a surge of layoffs in 2022, with over 1,000 tech companies laying off 154,843 employees, according to Layoffs.fyi. Experts view these layoffs as a self-correction from the bloated workforces created during the pandemic, when tech companies like Amazon and Shopify thrived while other businesses suffered.

According to Margaret O’Mara, author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America, external capital resources, such as venture capital funds, have been softening, leading to a decrease in tech worker layoffs. Lu Zhang, managing director of VC firm Fusion Fund, believes companies are reserving cash and looking for more cost-efficient ways of hiring, which has led to a demand for engineers experienced in AI tech and data science. These skills are sought-after because companies are focusing on collecting and processing data to better understand their customers and improve their businesses.

According to an OECD report, there has been a 24% increase in job postings for digital roles in the US between 2018 and 2021, with a 116% increase in adverts for data engineers. However, Margaret O’Mara, author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America, notes that compassion and empathy are becoming increasingly important skills sought by tech companies. She argues that with external capital resources, such as venture capital funds, softening, it is time for more large, influential companies to enter the stage of maturity.

Jaydeep Vacchani’s success in securing a job in the tech industry during the pandemic demonstrates the resilience of skilled workers and the continued demand for their expertise. Despite the high number of layoffs, companies like sherpa° are still searching for qualified candidates who have specialist skills and can contribute to the growth and mentoring of others.

As the tech industry experiences a surge of layoffs, experts view this as a self-correction to address the bloated workforces created during the pandemic. However, external capital resources softening could lead to more cost-efficient ways of hiring, and a demand for engineers experienced in AI tech and data science, which are increasingly important skills sought by tech companies.

Overall, the tech industry is still a vibrant and growing field that offers opportunities for skilled workers, and with a call for more large and influential companies to enter the stage of maturity, there is potential for the industry to continue to thrive and make a positive impact on society.

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