3 Qualities Software Developers Look for When Looking for Work

The need for highly skilled software developers is at an all-time high, resulting in heightened competition among companies to attract the best candidates. In order to accurately gauge the expectations of top-notch developers, a recent survey carried out by StackOverflow, which questioned 80,000 engineers, has unearthed significant data on what these professionals are seeking in new employment opportunities. Businesses, regardless of their size or stature, must keep up-to-date with these insights to align their hiring practices with the current market demand.

Below are some of the significant discoveries made in the study:

According to the survey, flexibility outranks salary for software developers

The survey demonstrates that more than half of the developers (56%) favour a flexible work schedule over the conventional 9 to 5. Moreover, when it comes to advancing their career in the same company, developers value flexibility more than the size of their pay package; 65% prioritise flexibility while 59% prioritise a higher pay package. This choice for flexible hours and remote work prospects may stem from the importance that developers place on a healthy work-life balance.

According to the survey, software developers place a higher value on flexibility than salary package even when assessing whether to remain in their current role or seeking future opportunities.

Due to the pandemic, many companies have been compelled to experiment with different modes of operation. Major tech firms like Twitter, Microsoft, and Apple have introduced hybrid or completely remote working frameworks. This shift in the work culture has received further validation from the Stackoverflow survey’s results, which confirm that 50% of developers are uncomfortable working for companies that insist on office-based work. It is clear that remote work is fast emerging as the new normal in the industry.

Employer reputation holds immense significance for software developers

As per the survey, a significant number of software developers conduct extensive research on potential employers before applying for a job. Developers tend to gather information about a company passively and actively. When gathering information passively, developers typically approach their professional circle (47%) and review media coverage (41%) of the organization. On the other hand, when actively searching for information, developers prioritise perusing job board reviews to gain insights into the employer’s culture.

Which technology stacks do the top software developers prefer?

As competition for highly skilled software developers continues to rise, having an appealing technology stack is critical for companies looking to hire top talent. According to recent studies, 32% of developers will refuse interviews or job offers if the technology stack being offered does not meet their expectations. Therefore, businesses must thoughtfully select their technology stack to attract the best developers.

Based on the StackOverflow survey, developers have a particular fondness for Python and Rust programming languages. Rust, a language similar in syntax to C++, supports a diverse range of applications and enables developers to work with different programming styles using a multi-paradigm approach. In contrast, Python’s interactivity allows developers to test code immediately rather than having to create lengthy code blocks that need further debugging.

These survey results suggest that software developers prefer programming languages and frameworks that have flexibility. As a result, businesses should amass an array of tools, applications, and services to create a contemporary and adjustable technology stack.

Apart from the technical abilities of the software stack, it is crucial to recognise that other factors have an impact on why a software developer may reject a job offer. According to recent surveys, 36% of respondents stated that they had been offered a better deal elsewhere. Additionally, 24% of applicants revealed that they had decided not to pursue the interview process due to a disorderly interview experience or negative reviews of the employer.


Companies that recognise and value their software developers’ time and effort will have a competitive edge. Thus, cultivating a favourable employer brand is critical in shaping the career aspirations of developers. By prioritising their developers’ well-being, businesses can foster a positive work culture that promotes loyalty and contributes to greater achievements.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs