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Pressure to hire Java developers intensifies in Seattle

To hire Java developers, Seattle software architect Rob Terpilowski has to compete against local heavyweights like Amazon.

Trying to hire Java developers? Finding Java developers to fill short-term Lynden Inc. positions used to take two to three weeks. Now it can take two to three months, said Rob Terpilowski, software architect for Lynden Inc., a freight shipping and logistics company in Seattle. To make matters worse, he said, Lynden has to pay substantially more to attract those developers.

"The developer shortage has hit us here at Lynden, especially the shortage of Java developers,"
said Terpilowski. "Amazon, Google and Facebook all have offices in our area, and they have been soaking up a large amount of the available Java developers."

Terpilowski talks about the challenges to finding developers with Java skills today in this video interview, which was shot during JavaOne 2015 in San Francisco. Terpilowski was a panel speaker there, discussing "What I Learned in Moving to JavaFX."

One would expect difficulties in finding developers with advanced skills today, but the shortage of available developers with basic Java skills has also surprised Terpilowski. He's not the only one, according to Bhavin Joshi, associate director at London-based recruitment firm Harvey Nash. At a time when developers are in such short supply, it might be easy to assume that "legacy" skills wouldn't be hard to find as, after all, they've been around a while. In fact, those legacy skills are quite scarce, and thus companies looking to hire Java developers with those "retro" talents might have to be prepared for a long wait.

Meanwhile, don't expect new Java developers to apply for basic programming jobs, ever. "You really don't have much chance offering maintenance or legacy work to developers today," said Joshi. "Developers today want new, exciting projects."

Learn more about Terpilowski's experiences with hiring Java developers in this video.

Additional reporting for this article was done by Valerie Silverthorne.

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