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Big tech's discarded techies won't sate the job market, says analyst

Coders are safe, too, despite AI writing one line in ten

Analyst firm Forrester predicts that despite recent mass layoffs across the tech sector, the jobs market will continue to favor IT professionals in 2023.

"In spite of the softening macroeconomic environment, you still see a lot of tension in the market for skills and talent," said Forrester vice president Frederic Giron speaking at the company's APAC Predictions 2023 event in Singapore on Thursday.

Giron explained that even though tech companies like Meta, Amazon and Twitter collectively recently laid off thousands of techies, they did not represent enough talent to fill in the industry's skills gap.

"We need hundreds of thousands of people," said Giron, who predicted that companies will have to think more strategically on how they can create pools of talent – drawing on freelancers, vocational schools, and automating processes.

"We will also see a more sophisticated type of relationship between enterprises and service providers, like joint ventures," said Giron.

Senior analyst Fahad Ehsan offered that in addition to a skills shortage in 2023, managers would have to continue to tolerate remote work. Ehsan said prolonged work-from-anywhere policies would continue to bring up questions on how to manage productivity, but also security concerns.

"CISOs are also concerned about who is accessing their data, how they're accessing the company networks, and how the authentication gets done," said Ehsan.

But there are some places that will host fewer workers next year: hotels and airports. Principal analyst Tom Mouhsian said Fortune Global 200 companies are rethinking and restricting their business travel policies – not only because demand for business travel is reduced in a post-COVID lockdown world, but also to satisfy environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies.

"There are campaigns shaming companies for business travel, or airlines claiming to be going green," said Mouhsian.

Rise of the machines

But tech talent and management problems may all be temporary anyway – until AI learns to write software.

"There's this whole class of AI algorithms called generative AI, which is kind of having its moment in the sun right now," said principal analyst Leslie Joseph.

Joseph said "TuringBots" – software that can build, deploy, run and test code according to design specs – will produce ten percent of worldwide code and tests in 2023.

"There's this whole realignment of that question of who is responsible for building your digital software within your enterprise." ®

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