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Tech Market Report March 2022: Node's rise and the push against full time office workPosted 7 months ago by Nick Caley

Nick Caley is Client Server's Sales Director. Every month, he looks at the big trends shaping the UK's tech hiring market.


I’ve always enjoyed the commute, whether that’s on the Northern Line back in the day or the relative luxury of my current overground train into Waterloo.

Those who know me well will know my commute is my little bit of me time, and if that means I need to do a 180 on the platform at Balham to avoid a colleague then so be it.

I’ve always seen it as a necessary chance to decompress after the trials and tribulations of a busy day, but in the life of a technologist right now it’s quite the rarity.

More and more companies are taking the decision to move to a remote-first or fully remote model, primarily for tech teams, but in some cases the entire business.

And candidates are beginning to consider this not as a perk, but the norm in a flexible working market where their skills are in high demand.

Back when the ‘new normal’ was, well, the new normal, we all expected hybrid models to be about as flexible as it got, but that’s long gone.

Arguments around the pros and cons of remote working are still regurgitated regularly, but whatever your opinion the fact is most technologists no longer need visit their employer’s offices.

This means that those candidates managing 3/4/5 offers are now likely considering the same number of opportunities, but all to work on a fully remote basis.

So if you – or indeed your client – are still pushing more strict guidelines around office facetime then the chances are you’re going to struggle.

That’s not to say no one wants to go to the office anymore, but they want to do it on their terms, and that can be a tricky thing to implement let alone manage when hiring at scale.

On the tech-side, everything is still popular, but we have seen one spike in the last month or so when it comes to the use of (and need for) Node skills for backend development.

As always, the simple challenge here is finding demonstrable experience with the language, however more nuanced than that is the fact that full stack or front-end TypeScript engineers will have used Node, but wouldn’t want to be pure back end focused.

And Node’s popularity as a language is a bit of a double-edged sword.

How to navigate that is the big question, but we generally look to strong back-end developers who have worked on systems of scale, and are comfortable with modern engineering technologies like AWS, Kubernetes and micro-services.

If they are happy to move in the Node direction, then they should be able to add value.

However, as one recent client put it; “Overall, my thought here is it’s easier to convert a good backend engineer to Node than to convert a good frontend engineer to a backend one.”

I mean yeah, that is what I was trying to say, no wonder he’s the CTO and I’m the recruiter.