Why It’s so Difficult to Retain Talented App Developers

June 14, 2016 - 2 minutes read

Engineering talent is often difficult to find, and even trickier to retain. Even as engineering salaries range into the hundreds of thousands, the dramatic shortage of educated and reliable talent leaves many companies fighting for top AI app developers with perks that go far beyond Ping-Pong tables and free meals.

While most Americans struggle to make mortgage payments and earn a week off annually, coders and technologists at successful Silicon Valley startups enjoy flexibility, generous paid time off, maternity leave, and other attractive benefits. Paired with the rewarding nature of engineering work and the excitement of working on projects that impact the lives of smartphone users all over the world, it’s no wonder that the tech industry is growing like wildfire. So where are the coders?

The reasons behind the shortage of technical talent in the US are complicated, but the issue essentially boils down to failure on the part of our education system coupled with rapid growth in the industry. According to Act The App Association statistics, as many as 616,000 engineering positions will go unfilled over the next four years if the computer science and STEM education tracks available to American students don’t adapt to the times. The potential loss to the economy as tech companies are forced to outsource work — or halt tech growth in local economies completely — is staggering.

Luckily, the tide is turning. Mobile app development companies from across the US are joining forces to push policymakers in local governments to promote tech education issues and increase opportunities for the next generation. Meanwhile, industry coalitions are urging congress to update the public school curricula to make coding a possibility for more students than ever before.

Will education be able to keep up with the mobile revolution? Regardless of how the issue plays out, iPhone app developers in Chicago, LA, NYC, and across the country will be fighting for it.

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