Main image of article Are Developers Actually Happy with Their Day-to-Day Work?

Despite ominous headlines about a recession, many developers are still interested in jumping to a new job. That’s bad news for managers who want to retain their top technology talent.

OutSystems surveyed 800 developers worldwide as part of a new report. Some 48 percent of those respondents said they would “definitely” be with their current company a year from now. Long-term, the numbers are even starker, with only 29 percent saying they’d be with their employer two years from now.

And that’s global: In the United States, developers are even more inclined to leave, with 38 percent saying they’ll be in their job next year, and 18 percent two years from now.

At least some of this impulse to quit may stem from how developers regard their daily grind. While 49 percent of developers in the U.S. said they love their jobs, only 37 percent were satisfied with the nature of their day-to-day work. Significant percentages of developers expressed some degree of dissatisfaction with team productivity, developer tools, salaries, and benefits.

If you’re applying for a tech job, keep in mind that potential employers are concerned about you quitting after only a few months. They might ask questions designed to not only judge your cultural fit, but also whether you’d flee for another role with relatively short notice. As you prepare for an interview, make sure you know how to answer questions such as, “Why did you leave for your last job?” and “Why do you want to work for this company?” You’ll want to explain what drew you to this specific job, and how the work will align with your broader career goals.

If you’re currently in a role that you like, but you’re still thinking about leaving, you can ask your manager for adjustments that will make you happier. Perhaps your workload is triggering burnout, or you don’t feel you’re receiving the promotion opportunities you deserve. The key in these situations is always communication: bringing your complaints to your manager, and talking through how best to solve them, is often the most straightforward (and best) course of action. While your manager might not be willing to offer everything you want (a raise, for example, might be off the table), they might be more than happy to pay for your certifications, work out a flexible schedule, and/or other perks.

Whether you want to stay in place or move on, the current market (recession fears or not) offers significant opportunities. Tech unemployment remains notably low at 2.1 percent, and you can use the current demand for technologists to negotiate for better salary or benefits, change specialties, or even convince an employer to pay for your training.