Of the fundamental importance that the field of programming has on the future of the economy speaks better than anything the unprecedented level of consensus to achieve that, in five years, programming is integrated into the educational curriculum of all Spanish children : from the public to the private sector, through large corporations, political leaders and even all the presidents of democracy. “The question is not whether or not the integration of computer science and programming into the educational curriculum is necessary; but about what will happen to us as a society if it is not integrated, in terms of employment, productivity and competitiveness ”, points out Fran García del Pozo, head of CODE.org in Spain. The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of all sectors, contributing to the fact that technology has suffered its consequences to a much lesser extent, and the demand for technical profiles will foreseeably continue to increase: up to 200,000 positions will be oriented to digitization in Spain (and 900,000 in the EU), according to a report by the European Commission. And yet the number of developers is still insufficient.
“Currently, the demand is very high. Any type of company and sector is hiring services related to programming, even without knowing it: from the neighborhood business that wants to sell online, through farmers who want to improve their productivity and reaching the largest corporations worldwide “, says Víctor Rodríguez, program manager at Ironhack. A need that is, in the first place, related to the rise of electronic commerce, since “90% of companies do e-commerce directly or indirectly, with a product or an application ”, points out Marco Gonzalo Gómez, 4Geeks academic director; and later with the automation of processes: “Any company that needs to update, digitize and generate internal tools for management, will need developments and, therefore, programmers”, he continues. “Industrial robotics is gaining ground as awareness about occupational health is generated. This means that many heavy or repetitive tasks are considered unhealthy, and therefore the need for robotization is generated ”, adds Gonzalo García, commercial director of Atlas Robots.
Profiles with the most demand
Cybersecurity is another of the sectors whose importance continues to grow, driven by the increased presence on the Internet: “It is not that threats (the growing risk of fraud and electronic attacks) have grown as much as Internet traffic, but they have even been able to grow more, stimulated by the growth of the market. Not just because there are more people, but because they do more things online. For example: since a year ago, electronic commerce has grown by around 50% more, and people start talking about cryptocurrencies very frequently: it is no longer the simple fact of the scam of obtaining credit card details “, Gomez points out.
“The economies with the best rates of growth, income per capita and productivity are those that present a greater investment in technology. And much of that technology converges on the software, so programmers are a fundamental piece of that economic development, ”says Rubén Berrocal, CEO of Flyncer, a talent accelerator. They also have a high rate of labor insertion, and good salary prospects: “The entry salary can be between 18,000 and 21,000 euros, but with just three or four years of experience these figures can at least double to throughout the trajectory of a developer ”. The workplace (salaries tend to be higher in the cities with the highest demand, such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia) and the type of company hiring are two other relevant factors: ” startups, Those who are just starting out and do not have economic muscle, offer alternative internships to those who have just graduated from bootcamps or other training centers, to generate a beneficial relationship for both where the person gains experience and the project can be nurtured by their contributions, ”says Gómez.
Teleworking, an option with a future
The work culture of Spain continues to be, in the opinion of the academic director of 4Geeks, very traditional, which has made the drop in remote work here considerably greater than in other neighboring countries: we have gone from 16% of remote work, as a result of confinement by the pandemic, to 11% in March 2021, and just 8% in the last quarter of the year, according to the National Observatory of Technology and Society. Data that contrasts with those provided by the National Statistics Institute (INE), for which 35% of the working population could carry out their work remotely.
“Despite this, the programming sector remains the main representative and demanding of remote work. There are companies that have been forced to offer, at least, a hybrid format (face-to-face days with remote days) in order not to attract, but to keep those who make up their technology teams ”, adds Gómez. For Berrocal, the trend towards teleworking is very evident: “There are North American companies that are hiring positions in Spain that are not only 100% remote, but also asynchronous. And, in addition, it has caused an increase in the average salaries of a developer in Spain, to the point that an average offer for a developer Full Stack with seven years of experience it is 50% greater than just two years ago ”.
By cities, those with the highest volume of remote workers are Valencia, Alicante, Malaga and Madrid, although since the beginning of the pandemic other municipalities also began to move to offer an attraction to digital nomads and remote work: ” The Canary Islands (especially in Tenerife), A Coruña, Asturias, Granada … The combination of a good communication infrastructure, good rental prices and low cost of living is very attractive for those who want to work remotely and get away from the big cities , especially if you add tranquility and scenery, ”says Gómez. In a European context, and according to Eurostat, Portugal and Italy, the most similar countries, are remotely above 12%, while the majority of central European nations exceed 15%, with Finland and Ireland leading the way, with 25 and 21% respectively.
Closing the gender gap is another of the objectives that will continue to be relevant in 2022. According to data from the INE of 2020, the presence of women in this sector reaches only 28%, while at the world level they barely represent 11%. “At 4Geeks we have achieved some important milestones, and in some courses women account for half of the enrollment. We want to help change the stigma that this is a “men’s” profession, says Gómez.
From Primary to university, FP or ‘bootcamps’
For Del Pozo, it is absolutely necessary that programming is part of educational curricula: “When we learn to program, we develop computational thinking, which brings with it the appearance of a series of skills such as logic, critical thinking, problem solving. or creativity, which are what the jobs of the future will demand. In China, programming is compulsory for students from the age of four, and robotics from the age of 11. Regardless of the profession to which our children are going to dedicate themselves ”, continues the expert,“ it is important that they understand the language of the machines, to be able to give instructions of what they want technology to do for them ”.
Currently, programming professionals come from four different paths: university, Vocational Training, bootcamps (intensive programs of between eight and 10 weeks) or self-taught training, each with its own distinctive characteristics: “The bootcamps provide a very fast turning point, for those who need a more immediate professional change, while the university gives you a very deep logical-mathematical basis, to be able to tackle a large number of problems of all kinds but that, in return, requires an investment of about five years before it begins to bear fruit ”, explains Gómez. Learning in a self-taught way allows unlimited learning of any technology, but that may imply “doing it without guidance or structure in the knowledge to be acquired (…), which can cause fundamental elements to be lost sight of, such as following good practices, applying correctly certain concepts or understand deeper ones ”.
“Both Vocational Training and bootcamps They have a more practical and job-oriented approach, and to be able to function in a job with a certain independence from day one, ”says Rodríguez, for whom choosing the ideal training depends on the objective one has: “If you want to quickly enter the market and work with the latest trends in technology, it is advisable to carry out a bootcamp. If you want to have a slightly larger range of languages and spend a little more time, it makes more sense to do an FP. The university is recommended for those people who want to be engineers, beyond just being programmers; people who do not want to close their scope of professional development to programming and who are open to, in the future, work in other fields of computing ”.
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