Like Peanut Butter and Jelly: Contingent Work in the Software Industry | DCR Workforce Blog

Like Peanut Butter and Jelly: Contingent Work in the Software Industry

Contingent work is in the news for the way it’s growing by leaps and bounds; so much so, that some career advisors are talking about traditional jobs as we know them becoming obsolete and instead replaced by short-term projects. Understandably, some industries are more amenable to hiring contingent workers than others. The software industry is one such, where employers are comfortable having a contingent workforce working with them. They go together like peanut butter and jelly!

Let’s explore the reasons why the software industry finds contingent workers more attractive. In fact, contingent workers are found in many mission critical roles delivering on core strategic plans for many software organizations.

The software industry is especially susceptible to relentless change – it must adapt quickly to stay in the game and it must innovate to get ahead. While some achieve this, others fold up and fall out of sight.

What are the adaptable organizations doing to stay competitive? They’re inventing new types of careers that provide scant employment security and demand, instead, that the worker stays employable by evolving at an equal pace with the changing environment by learning entirely new skills, even as they emerge. This is entirely due to the nature of the software industry itself.

A better PB&J

The pressures that an organization in the software industry has to contend with are many. Most of them operate on a global level and keep on trying to expand their operations to survive in a highly competitive environment by continually creating newer, faster and better software.

Like adding a new twist to your trusty favorite PB&J by turning it into a crepe, putting the filling between French toast or making a triple-decker club sandwich, the software industry must constantly stay on the cutting edge.

Here are a few items that keep this industry on its toes:

  • Heavy competition leading to uncertainty about future prospects
  • Ongoing changes in technology which keep skill requirements in a flux
  • Great work pressure, with customers demanding quality, efficiency and speedy delivery
  • Need to reduce costs against high remuneration expectations from employees
  • Continual organizational changes with little or no job security, leading to frequent layoffs

Employment in the software industry is one of the fastest growing opportunities for people skilled in computer programming. How does one stay employed by the software industry, as a contingent worker or an employee?

  • Keep upgrading your skills and learning new technologies on an ongoing basis
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by staying with only one industry doing the same repetitive tasks and working with outdated legacy systems
  • Find work in growth industries using newly acquired knowledge
  • Establish connections with others, who can keep you ahead of the game by bringing opportunities your way
  • Acquire a repertoire of skills that make it possible for you to move to a different team or project that’s more in demand

The perfect combination: Contingent workers and software industry

Contingent workers seem to offer the most ideal solution to all the above issues being faced by both employers and workers in the software industry including:

  • Contingent workers can be brought in to work on a project before being offered a repeat project or permanent position.
  • Employers can access the desired skill sets through niche staffing suppliers who specialize in supplying programmers with the required skill sets with quick turnaround times.
  • Engaging a staffing supplier ensures that the employer need not spend a lot of time on posting a job and waiting for applications to be submitted – especially in the current day scenario of finding jobs going unfilled for nearly 5.8 million open positions.
  • Talented professionals enjoy the flexibility to move on if they’re not satisfied with the scope offered by their current gig.
  • Since there are more young people in software, they may not be as particular about job security and are willing to ignore concerns about their future and enjoy themselves as long as they like the organizational culture, opportunities for continuous learning and career growth offered by a given role.
  • Ability to work with offshore workers who complement the skills and timing of their internal teams so they have round-the-clock software creation.
  • Some contractors choose temporary work so as to get spare time to nurture their own ventures on the side.

The software industry offers contingent workers the opportunity to stay current with their skills and work in a highly organized industry that enjoys a network, making it possible for the workers to establish their reputation and build a career on it.

What other reasons make the software industry and contingent workers the perfect match like a PB&J?

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.