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Why don’t young people want to be developers?

Companies are snapping up developers. A sign of the shortage: a ratio of 1.5 applicants for a single vacancy, according to a Pôle emploi study. According to a YouGov study, 57% of men and 73% of women aged 18-34 would not be tempted by the adventure. Stereotypes die hard…

The developer is a geek in a hoodie

It’s a well-known fact that developers code alone in their basements, wearing hoodies and holding a bowl of crisps. It’s just that the geek myth is tenacious. And tech icons such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are no exception. In France, the profession of developer suffers from such a poor image that the younger generation cannot identify with it.

According to the Yougov survey, only 8% of 18-34 year olds would really like to become a developer. What’s more, according to Marie-Benoîte Chesnais, Technical Director of CA Technologies, the lack of interest in the profession among young people can also be explained by the fact that they are much more consumers of IT than afficionados.

Where are the women?

The second factor in the profession’s lack of appeal is the low representation of women. In fact, in the digital professions, the gender mix is far from satisfactory. Worse still, the proportion of women is reported to be falling sharply. In the early 1950s, women accounted for 40% of the profession. Today, according to the Observatoire paritaire des métiers du numérique, they account for 33%. This is a blow to a sector with a reputation for machismo. In 2017, Ecole 42 was singled out for sexism. And, more generally, 53% of women have already admitted to having been harassed at computer science school, according to a study by Social Builder.

Salaries at half mast?

As kings of commerce, developers earn a good living. But the golden life of coders is also a stereotype. On an international scale, the salary of a French developer pales in comparison with the competition.

According to a study by Codingame in 2019, the salary of the average French developer will be $53,515, compared with $95,737 in Switzerland and $100,515 in the United States. This difference is driving the workforce abroad. It’s not for nothing that Canada has become the Eldorado for French IT expatriates.

At a time when companies are experiencing recruitment difficulties, it seems necessary to improve the image of developers. This will involve better training for the professions, campaigns to raise awareness of sexism and pay rises.