Ask software developers what matters to them most when weighing up a job offer, what do you think they’d say? The salary? The perks and benefits? The Flexi-working options?
Whilst all these are considerations, you’d probably be wrong!
It’s the code. For developers, it’s the tech stack on offer that has the power to turn heads. A recent survey of over 80,000 developers revealed that 54 % prized programming languages, frameworks, and other technologies when choosing an employer.
If you are looking to scale your development team, and attract the top development talent to your business, you need to have a recruitment strategy that highlights you’re using tech they can get excited about.
What is a tech stack?
An organisation’s tech stack is the technologies that work together to create its product. When considering a networked application, this will include a back-end language, a front-end framework and/or mobile technology, a database, and possibly a cloud provider, web server, and/or content delivery network (CDN). For installed applications, the tech stack will include an operating system and associated SDK, a programming language, a graphics library, and possibly a database. The stack may also have complementary tools and technologies for testing, analytics, and CRMs. They may also use slightly different tech stacks, depending upon whether they are working on web or mobile development.
The tools and technologies that make up a company’s core tech stack will have big implications on the ability to develop and deploy code quickly and scale easily. Consequently, it’s crucial to choose a tech stack with component parts that have smooth integrations and a large open-source community. This will allow the development team to collaborate and learn when writing code.
Tech stacks can be fluid and have the potential to change frequently based upon changing technology needs. Technical staff need to feel comfortable with the technologies an employer uses so many companies consult their development team when designing their stack.
What technologies belong in a tech stack?
When planning which technologies will make up your tech stack, it is tempting to default to the most used technologies. While this may allow you a greater depth and breadth of candidates, it can also limit your scope to innovate. Instead, when building your tech stack, you may like to consider choosing technologies that are less common, but still loved by developers.
The same study revealed that the most “loved” languages of respondents were Rust (83.5%), Python (73.1%), TypeScript (73.1%), Kotlin (72.6%), and WebAssembly (69.5%). However, when looking at the most common languages, only Python is listed in the top 5 most used programming languages.
Your team should, therefore, be instrumental in helping to design your tech stack. They will be able to use their industry knowledge and learning goals to update it regularly. This involvement will serve your business two-fold. Not only will they have the inside track on the latest tools, but they will also know what will enthuse and motivate new recruits to the development team.
What should I underline to candidates about the tech stack?
Your current engineering team will let you know what your development applicants will value most. They’ll know what’s hot in the industry, and all the current on-trend technologies. To determine your ideal tech stack, you may consider asking your team the following questions.
- How is what we are building, or our methods, different from other companies?
- What recent changes have been most fundamental to the tech team?
- What plans on our roadmap are the team most excited about?
- What changes, additions, or deductions have been made to our tech stack recently?
- How do we solve problems that set us apart from our competitors?
The answers to these questions will help you uncover your company’s ongoing requirements, and create a collaborative, transparent workplace where all your engineering team feels valued, and their input heard.
Why does the tech stack matter so much!?
Experienced developers have probably become familiar with many languages over the course of their careers. This exposure has allowed them to become fluent in the one or ones that they most enjoy and are passionate about. It is likely that they are already involved with open source projects in these and making meaningful contributions to the developer community. Contribution is core to a passionate development team; the language they are working in is pivotal to this and the endorsements they receive from their peers. As your engineers share their work wins and challenges with the wider community, you’ll earn a reputation as an employer that is supportive of its developers. It will be clear that yours is a brand that prioritises the professional development of its engineers.
For newly graduating developers, the tech stack will be fundamental to where they wish to work. These are candidates who are emerging with the sexiest new skills, tools, and technologies in their pockets. Transparency about the tech stack will allow them to make informed decisions and ensure that yours is a role and company high up on their wish list.