Top Tech Jobs 2015 – Software engineering and development

9 Dec 2014

Silicon Republic is looking to the future, establishing which jobs will be most in demand in Ireland in 2015. In the third part of this series, we look at software development and engineering.

Software developers and engineers still represent a major part of the recruitment environment in Ireland, but the evolution of both multinationals and indigenous businesses means the acute needs and wants of companies is constantly under review, with newer skills needed all the time.

What has helped employees in this regard is the speed at which financial institutions based in Ireland have had to constantly evolve and adapt to an ever more globalised marketplace for their product. This, in turn, means their web-based services are in a consistent state of flux, with developers and engineers fulfilling numerous roles.

Considering the growth in cloud storage, as one example, database developers are in demand, but across the board it’s a real growth area of employment.

Add a business head to your skill set

What’s key in this field is staying on top of the programming languages in vogue. Development positions with Java, .NET, Python and Ruby on Rails are still the most common jobs on the market, however, roles with a crossover of this knowledge, aligned with strong business skills, are becoming more and more popular.

There’s also the area of mobility. With the abundance of tech giants having bases in Ireland, in Dublin in particular, it paves the way for a growing field of start-ups looking to make it big with apps, with UI and UX almost a pre-requisite across the board.

There is a similar spill over of med-tech start-ups, for example, in the areas of Ireland with a condensed geographical representation of major med-tech multinationals.

These IT businesses require significant software expertise from the get-go and, although starting as modest operations, do provide avenues for – or are even created by – developers of varying experience.

Website creation and management is broader still, with CMS systems and HTML-related maintenance a consistent source of employment. PHP, Perl and Ruby on Rails knowledge is key in this area at creation stage, but CSS and HTML goes far when it comes to front-end employment opportunities.

Med tech, a new route to employment?

An interesting point made in Irish software engineering research centre Lero’s summer report on the software landscape in Ireland was the potential of future software-based employment opportunities in surprising industries in the country. Med-tech, for example, is seeing a growing introduction of software into devices.

“With a strong multinational presence in the country (20 of the top 30 medical-devices companies globally have operations in Ireland), opportunities could arise in areas where Ireland has growing complementary strengths, including embedded software, sensors, middleware, data mining,” reads the report.

“Similarly, there could be high-value opportunities in software-enabled domains, such as remote diagnostics and eHealthcare services.”

For this to come to fruition, it would also presumably help with a good spread of employment, as most med-tech businesses are outside of Dublin. Indeed, it’s rare for any job announcement stories in the tech industry – or beyond, in many cases – to not include software developer or engineer jobs whatsoever.

Permanent people are hard to get

“The information technology industry in Ireland has continued to experience a period of growth across all sectors, with competition for strong, experienced candidates remaining high,” according to Hays Ireland’s Salary and Recruiting Trends 2015.

“Demand is outstripping supply in a number of areas and as a result there are pressures on permanent salaries and contractor daily rates. Where we are seeing the most significant demand is for developers with mobile experience.”

Indeed freelance developers and engineers are those making the real killing. Hays noted the difficulties behind recruiting for permanent positions “as the allure of daily rates is too strong. This is most common with Oracle developers.”

Salaries in the software development and engineering fields vary significantly depending on experience and the different levels within the profession.

For example, junior developers in C#/, Java and can look at income in the €40,000 per annum area, with increases of €10,000-€15,000 when moving up each stage, from developer to senior analyst/developer, technical lead and finally software architect.

Salaries for web and mobile developers are harder to average out. iOS, Android and Windows developers can garner anything from €35,000-€80,000 per year, with web developers looking at similar figures.

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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