- The most effective method to build skills among software developers are game days, job rotations and mentor-mentee pairings, according to data presented at the virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo last week.
- Despite higher efficiency, there is a disconnect between the most popular learning methods and those yielding the most impact for the organization. Companies are most frequently using DevOps Dojos, internal presentations and internal technical conferences to build development skills, Gartner data shows.
- To advance skill growth among software developers, leaders "must grow a learning culture where every member of your team is excited about learning a new skill and teaching," said Arun Batchu, senior director, analyst at Gartner, speaking during the conference.
Companies seeking to retain IT workers amid the Great Resignation need to excel at upskilling, as workers will consider possibilities for professional advancement when deciding whether to leave a role. Limited career progression is among the top reasons workers head for the exit.
There are more open tech roles than workers ready to fill them, as job postings for all new IT occupations reached almost 300,000 in September, CompTIA analysis shows. Unemployment in tech continues to trail the national average, at 2.2% versus the overall employment at 4.8%.
To respond to talent demands, leaders rely on upskilling where possible to expand the talents available within the existing workforce. It's no easy task, as workers say being too busy, budget constraints and a distracting environment can impact their ability to grow their skills, according to data from Pluralsight.
It's up to leaders to do away with the friction that keeps IT workers from polishing their skills. Executives need to convey to engineering managers and engineers that "learning is a priority for you, and that you not only give them permission to take time out, but you're also encouraging them to do so," Batchu said.
Mentor-mentee pairings, one of the most effective techniques for on-the-job learning, are a simple way of compounding learning among the IT ranks. But instituting game days — where teams simulate an incident and learn from their response — may require cooperation with partners in HR, Batchu said.
"You must work hard to make it easy for your teams to have game days," Batchu said.