How Covid 19 Killed The Programming Market

How Covid 19 Killed The Programming Market

A global pandemic has hit every industry hard, and IT is no exception. This article is about what is the ugly, the bad, and good about the current situation in the IT market. As you probably noticed, I put these into reversed order, that’s because I’m from the West and people from the West like happy endings. So let’s leave what’s good to the very end, and let’s have a look at what’s ugly and bad about the current situation first.

The Ugly

People are losing their jobs

You may hear of some markets are doing well like video conferencing, telemedicine, e-commerce, delivery, food groceries, streaming games, SaaS, security, telecoms, and online advertising, while other declines.

Sadly, for us IT individuals, many of us lost their jobs, many projects were delayed or canceled. It happened before most of the countries adapted to the situation and put employee retention schemas at a place to protect workers from being laid off. Sadly it didn’t work in every case.

The contractors were out of luck the most. As they are not protected by the employer-employee regulations, many contracts were suddenly canceled.

Fake job positions

Even if we can find job opportunities on job boards, many of them are just baits and these opportunities don’t exist at all. The recruiting companies just try to build their candidate database, and there is no real opportunity behind these offers.

Even though some of the opportunities still exist but most of them are only for employee positions, the market for contractors dried out.

The Bad

Less demand for cutting edge technologies

The demand for cutting edge technologies like React, Angular, Vue, AI, VR, and machine learning used by startups tanked.

This is related to the huge slow down of the startup industry, and cancelation of new projects.

There are still a lot of opportunities for programmers - as I will describe later - but fancy, modern technologies are sadly not in that equation.

New technologies have no much chance to emerge

Because the market gets heavily chilled, some of the new technologies like Flutter will not grow as fast as they could. Other popular modern technologies that already build their position including React, React Native, Angular, Vue, Node will also slow down.

In the crisis, people are reluctant to invest in relatively new things and prefer to stick to the solutions used to work in the past.

Because many companies, cancel or postpone their projects, there is no space for applying new technology stack.

The only projects that guarantee stable jobs these days are the ones on the maintenance stage, which mature codebase and most often obsolete tech stack.

The Good

Things are not entirely gloomy, though. There are good things that Covid-19 suddenly bring to the tech industry. Let’s have a closer look.

Remote work is no longer taboo

If you like the idea of working remotely, here is good news for you. The current situation made many companies, which were reluctant for remote working switch their office workspaces to remote allowing their employees to work from home. They had to adapt to new systems and new ways of management. It’s unlikely they will turn it down entirely when the situation will back to normal.

While in many companies productivity will go up, the argument that “people working remotely are less productive”, and “they don’t work when we don’t watch them” will finally be busted.

If you are an employee and during the Covid-19 outbreak you work from home, your job will likely become much more flexible after the pandemic is over.

Many job opportunities get upgraded to remote

If the company wants to hire during the Covid-19 outbreak it has to provide remote workspace. This instantly upgrades all the opportunities on the market to a remote. Even though most of the time their description states as “remote temporary”, it’s very unlikely they will become so stiff about work from the office after the situation will back to normal.

More money for remote workers

Regular and remote positions used to not be rewarded equally. Employees and contractors used to earn less for the same work done if their position was remote. Employers thought that “because we give you the freedom of working from home, it’s fair to pay you less”, while demanding the same level of productivity and commitment at the same time.

Even if it’s proven that remote employees are more productive - I omit cheaters here - most of the time it was very hard to have merit discussion with the management about remote working. The urge to micromanage people, and demonstrate manager high status is too strong.

While remote positions will become more common, the experienced developers, who know their value, will not want to work for less while working remotely than their market value. So we can expect that the salary gap between employees and remote employees will be much smaller.

Plenty of freelance opportunities

Lots of people got stuck in their homes. Some of them decided to start a business, sell things online, or provide remote services or expert advice. All of these new, small businesses as well as the old ones, need websites, online shops, designers, email service, advertisement, brand identity, and many other technical services. That gives us plenty of opportunities for freelancing and creates space for individuals who always wanted to give freelance a shoot, but they couldn’t found their way to the market.

Now they have a big second chance to find the first client and get started.

As mentioned before, new opportunities mostly involve technologies that have a stable market position, are proven and suitable for small businesses’ needs. These technologies are Wordpress, eCommerce platforms like Magento, Woocommerce or Shopify, HTML/CSS/Javascript, PHP - a quite traditional stack. Nothing fancy, but proven to do the job.

If you are already familiar with these technologies you can get these opportunities right away, if you used to work with fancier things, you can easily learn those skills.

Teaching opportunities

As many people work from home or get paid just to stay in the house, some of them decided to learn new skills including programming. This creates a big opportunity for people who want to start teaching others how to code, become mentors, or create online courses. Everything is done from the comfort of our home. Nice!

Growth of new remote technologies

Since we know Covid-19 is not a weekly incident, many companies started creating remote solutions to help adapt their clients’ workspaces to remote environments. Because of increasing market need, these technologies will not only last but will evolve rapidly ridding on the current trend. While they will be growing so the remote workspaces will evolve and become more and more dependent on those solutions.

Remote working heavily relies on technology and internet connection, and also requires new ways of management.

The methodologies that are put into action today will last for months, maturating, and actually becoming a new default for many companies. For many of them, it’s unlikely they will all switch back to the old way of doing things when the pandemic will be over.


The world will never be the same after the Covid-19. While being aware of the challenges this situation is causing us, many of the solutions and market trends created today will become our new reality tomorrow and years to come.

These trends are not something that happens thanks to the virus but rather the pandemic becomes a catalyst for the changes that will happen anyway but in a much slower paste.

If you have any questions related to this article, leave the comment below.

If you found this post helpful, consider sharing it, so I will be motivated to publish more posts that will help you get the IT career you want.

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