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Why Is the Web Developer Job Market So Tough Right Now?

August 15, 2023
August 16, 2023
Episode Number:

Finding a job as a web developer is difficult right now. We're hot off the heels of the crazy hiring spree during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now companies are tightening their belts. We see tech companies constantly laying people off, and we've been hearing about a recession for the past year or so. The good news is that finding a job as a web developer isn't impossible, as there are still a lot of companies looking for web developers. Many of these companies are outside tech, however, instead they can be found in finance, retailers, logistics, etc. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed the current job market, why it's the way it is, and how to navigate it.


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Who’s in This Episode?

Show Notes

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What you'll learn in this episode

  • Why the job market isn't the greatest right now for web developers
  • How large tech companies grew during the COVID-19 hiring spree
  • Where to look for jobs, even in this market



  • This episode is not about doom and gloom, it’s about setting proper expectations for developers that are trying to find a job right now
  • Developer jobs are not going anywhere because of AI, this is not an episode that will dive deep into how or when AI will take jobs but know that the current market is not being affected by the rise of ChatGPT

The Current Job Market

  • Most of the large tech companies (Alphabet/Google, Meta/Facebook, Apple, Amazon, etc) have instituted hiring freezes
  • VC funding is drying up due to higher interest rates, which means startups are having a harder time raising capital
  • Over hiring during the pandemic created a gold rush for developers seeking jobs, companies were fighting each other to hire devs and this led to crazy compensation increases and set expectations to high for new developers that are entering the job market now

The Why

  • The landscape we described has other factors adding to why the job market seems tougher than usual right now
  • With remote work taking center stage a lot of companies decided to start hiring foreign labor (India, Ukraine, Malaysia, etc) at a lower cost
  • With the higher interest rates, infinite money faucets have been turned off so companies can’t continue to infinitely hire developers to work on skunkworks projects that will never see the light of day
  • Bootcamps had a huge rise in popularity during the pandemic, as people looked to find new careers. This flooded the market with junior developers. More devs = more competition to find a job
  • The tech layoffs have also flooded the market with developers of all different levels. 
  • Even though we are not in an official ‘recession’ it seems that some companies are tightening belts and preparing for an economic downturn.

It’s not that bad

  • Companies are still hiring, tech seems to be affected the most but other companies (finance, retailers, logistics, etc) are still hiring developers 
  • Look outside of just tech for a job, sometimes these companies can actually be a better place to work in terms of work-life balance and job stability 
  • The doom and gloom mostly come from the heightened expectations due to the infinite hiring machine that happened during covid. All other times it was always difficult to find your first job.
  • Going from job to job wasn’t as easy as well but still happened and is still happening to increase compensation 
  • A lot of the applicants applying to jobs are underqualified. Don’t be afraid to apply even if you think there are too many people applying, you might be exactly what they are looking for.