The End of the Tech Job Bubble

May 18, 2024

2012 to 2023 was a decade of massive growth for technology companies. Fueled by low interest rates, aggressive venture capital investments, and a massive surge in pandemic related technology expenditures, there was no limit for the demand for software engineers and adjacent roles. Flush with cash companies did not have to be picky: low performers and folks without productive work could coast on payroll until a use for them arrived. Major layoffs arrived to the industry over a year ago, and now it is easier than ever to find entry to intermediate level software talent.

Why It Matters

If you work in a government or non-profit organization, you can finally find software talent to hire at reasonable rates. I am hearing on the ground that roles with salary ranges that were previously laughable are now given serious consideration by candidates. If you want someone to make that bespoke brochure website or custom web application, the iron is hot.

For folks working in tech this does create a bit of a gloomier picture. Engineers are going to be asked to do more with less. Generalists that can contribute to product or design as well as code are going to be more prized. If you do not love or find you are not great at coding, now might be the time to switch to another career.

What They’re Saying

  • “it saddens me to share that the odds are no longer in favor of a bootcamp graduate. With so much seniority in the job market, it’s difficult even for the strongest of graduates to find a job. With hard work and intentional effort, it’s still possible, but market-wide placement rates are starting to dip below 50%.” - Launch Academy
  • I am hearing from hiring managers that entry and intermediate level web development roles get hundreds of experienced applicants.

By the Numbers

  • 263,000 layoffs in 2023
  • 86,000 so far in 2024 according to

The Bright Spots

My Take: The Talent Gap

It is still a great time to be a specialist in software. If you have expertise in AI, geospatial, media, or another area that is not so common, it remains a challenge to hire for these roles and your job is likely secure. Unfortunately it’s not easy to take folks from being generalist web developers into specialists in these areas. The level of hand holding and learning infrastructure that existed to help folks with basic web development just is not there for these areas. Even AI tools suffer when thrown at problems in these spaces due to the lack of data they have been trained on.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.