Safety in numbers – how have layoffs affected developers?

The process of creative destruction in the tech sector allows for great leaps of innovation as startups out-manoeuvre incumbents and are, in turn, acquired in billion-dollar deals. However, this dynamism and flexibility can also come at a cost. When organisations are flush with cash and the trade winds are blowing in the right direction, developers’ high value is evident in their commensurately high salaries and attractive benefits packages as organisations build crack teams to solve hard problems. 

But when times are hard, these crack teams can begin to look like luxuries, and suddenly, a prestigiously large team may appear bloated. In hard times, organisations need to maintain profitability and ‘right-size’ their organisation. After the hiring glut during the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that software vendors have begun to tighten their belts in the face of global financial uncertainty. Meta’s ‘year of efficiency’ has reportedly resulted in a loss of 20k jobs, a fraction of the reported 225k lost in 2023 (at the time of writing).

In this blog post, we examine how developers were affected by layoffs in the tech industry in the last 18 months, presenting findings from SlashData’s Q3 2023 Developer Nation survey.

A very substantial proportion (45%) of developers were directly or indirectly affected by these layoffs. In particular, nearly a quarter of those – and 11% of all professional developers – were themselves laid off. We’ll look more closely at just who was affected further down the post.

It seems that employers were more willing to reduce headcount than to reduce benefits – 30% of developers were either laid off or know someone who was, whilst 22% either lost salary/benefits or didn’t get a raise. This shows the depth of the cuts needed for organisations to remain profitable – redundancies save on bonuses, benefits, and overheads, in addition to salaries.

Interestingly, as a result of this situation, we find that 12% of developers are considering changing career paths. According to our survey data, Industrial IoT (21%) and VR (18%) are the hardest-hit sectors. Given that many VR developers get into the profession due to their passion and evangelism for the technology, this must be particularly distressing for them. 

Furthermore, even despite the recent AI/ML gold rush associated with recent developments in large language models (LLMs), 16% of developers involved in ML/AI projects are considering switching. Those who report translating business problems into ML/AI problems are the most likely to consider switching (24%). This might be because the answer to this question is now becoming increasingly ‘use the ChatGPT API’. To find out more about what developers think of generative AI, check out the 25th edition of our State of the Developer Nation report and our recent webinar.

Nearly half of developers have been affected by layoffs, and three in ten have been laid off or know someone who was
* % of professional developers working in organisations of 2 or more employees
Sample Size: Q3 2023 (n=4,878)

Looking at the effect of company size, we can see that developers at the largest organisations – those with a thousand or more employees – were the least affected by layoffs. More specifically, 62% of them weren’t affected in any way. This demonstrates that, despite the widely-publicised layoffs from companies like Microsoft, Meta, and Google, the financial difficulties have been felt more keenly at smaller organisations. Understandably, though, 5-digit layoffs at a single company make for attention-grabbing headlines and collecting data on the wider number of smaller organisations is difficult. So here, we present this often under-reported view of how layoffs have affected developers at smaller organisations.

Much of the reporting of these layoffs has focused on large organisations’ attempts to gain efficiencies by flattening their hierarchies. We can see this reflected in our data – the negative impact of the layoffs rises with developers’ level of influence on tool purchasing decisions. 

Developers in senior roles have been hit the hardest by the negative impacts of the layoffs, proportionately, at least. Under half of the decision-makers* remain unaffected as of Q3 2023 – compared to 64% of those not involved in tool selection decisions. Furthermore, more than a third (37%) of decision-makers were either laid off themselves or knew someone else who was. Just 24% of non-decision-makers say the same. 

Decision-makers – with their commensurately higher salaries – were also nearly twice as likely as those not involved in tool selection decisions to feel the financial squeeze from the situation, with 27% experiencing reduced salaries, bonuses, and/or benefits, vs. 14% of those not involved in tool purchasing decisions.

In fact, the impact is such that decision-makers are nearly three times as likely to consider switching career paths as those who are not involved in making decisions in the tool selection process. Decision-makers at small companies (2-50 employees) are the least likely to want to switch, though – 11% say they are considering changing career paths, compared to 20% of those at larger organisations. Smaller companies likely have less red tape and flatter hierarchies anyway.

Decision-makers bore the brunt of the negative impacts – they are twice as likely to have been laid off as those not involved in tool selection decisions
* % of professional developers working in organisations of 2 or more employees that have each level of influence on tool purchasing decisions
Sample Size: Q3 2023 (n=3,998)

*Decision-makers are developers who say that they make the final selection decision for team/company tools, approve expenses on tools & components, or approve the overall team budget for developer tools. Influencers are those who say they are involved in tool selection decisions by making recommendations or influencing decision-makers or are responsible for specifications.

Developers’ influence and the size of the organisation they work at are not the only factors at play in whether or not they have been affected by layoffs. We also must consider developers’ skill levels. Here, we present two views that capture different aspects of developers’ level of expertise:

  1. Years of experience in software development
  2. Where developers learnt to code

The most experienced developers suffered the fewest ill-effects from the layoffs. No matter how you measure it, they are the least likely to have been laid off, know someone who was laid off, or to have experienced reduced salaries, bonuses and/or benefits. Subsequently, just 6% say that they are considering changing career paths. Clearly, these developers have a greater sunk cost to consider than the least experienced – those with two or fewer years under their belts – but this data demonstrates just how essential highly experienced developers are to the smooth running of an organisation.

In fact, being highly experienced appears to mitigate some of the negative effects experienced by decision-makers. For example, 68% of decision-makers with 11+ years of experience saw no negative effects from the layoffs, compared to 39% of those with 3-10 years under their belts. Although decision-makers are the most likely to have experienced negative impacts from layoffs, organisations still recognise the value of having experienced developers in key positions.

Looking at expertise from another angle – developers’ level of education, we can see that bootcamp-educated developers are at a significant disadvantage, even over those who don’t know how to code. Just 38% of bootcamp-educated developers suffered no ill effects from recent layoffs, and 43% were either laid off or know someone who was. This data indicates that:

  1. Some bootcamps don’t equip developers with sufficient skills to weather storms – these developers are often the first to go, and;
  2. Bootcamp-educated developers have a large network of similarly skilled friends and colleagues who also suffered from these layoffs.

As for those who don’t know how to code – whose outcomes appear better than even developers educated at a postgraduate level – we see that some roles are over-represented:

  • 13% are product managers / marketers / salespeople,
  • 12% are tech/engineering team leads,
  • 12% are system administrators (using visual development tools to manage infrastructure),
  • 11% are business analysts.

All of these roles, though vital to the software development process, don’t necessarily involve writing code, and it appears that these roles are robust to change. Tech/engineering team leads were one of the least affected roles, with 60% of them indicating that they weren’t affected by the recent layoffs. So, whilst middle managers and decision-makers were the most likely to face the axe, many organisations continued to recognise the value of individual contributors and those who manage them directly, regardless of their coding skills. Indeed, AI-assisted programming and visual development tools have reduced the reliance on traditional coding skills, and this area continues to experience rapid change and development.

Developers who learnt to code at a developer boot camps were the most at risk from layoffs
* % of professional developers at organisations of 2 or more employees
Sample Size: Q3 2023 (n=4,802)

It’s never easy to work in uncertain times, especially with the threat of redundancies. The tech sector is in a constant state of flux. Reassuringly, though, the recent explosion of generative AI has made developers feel better equipped to do their jobs, rather than threatened. We’re likely to see further iterations of the boom-bust cycle, and for those who want to feel more secure, it’s more vital than ever to continue building skills. SlashData’s Developer Nation community aims to empower developers to grow and learn in the ever-changing tech landscape. We’ll bring you insights, content, and access to field experts to help you get started or level up your game. Keep an eye on our socials to learn more about the next virtual meetup.


Ada Developers Academy: Diversifying the tech industry for good

The Developer Nation community takes great pride in collaborating with organisations that contribute to the diverse and inclusive evolution of the software development ecosystem. 

Featured in our blog spotlight today, the Ada Developers Academy whose mission is  to prepare women and gender expansive adults to be software developers while advocating for inclusive and equitable work environments. Ada primarily serves and addresses the needs of Black, Latine, Indigenous Americans, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+, and low-income people. Here is more about Ada as explained by Alexandra Holien, VP of Revenue and Marketing, Deputy Director. 

Nine in ten students, employees, senior HR leaders, and human resources officers surveyed by Accenture in 2019 said that attracting women with tech experience is critical for their company’s success. 

Gender diversity brings substantial benefits to individual companies and the tech economy at large:

  • Bringing more women onto engineering teams directly improves product quality – by reducing problems like algorithmic or design bias, which are made worse by a lack of diversity. Companies with above-average diversity received 45% of their revenue from new products vs. 26% for companies with below-average diversity scores.
  • A study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that greater gender diversity raises tech company share prices. Companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform and out-earn the U.S. average (, and tech companies led by women are more capital-efficient than companies run by men, achieving 35% higher ROI and, when venture-backed, 12% higher revenue (Kauffman Foundation). 
  • Companies with inclusive environments nurture innovation and shrink the gender pay gap. A study by the Gallup Organization found that more diverse companies have 22% less employee turnover rate; creating faster, sustainable growth.

Still, many companies struggle to recruit and retain diverse talent – that’s where Ada Developers Academy comes in. 

Our one-year, tuition-free coding school fast-tracks women and gender-expansive* folks into junior software developer roles. Through six months in the classroom and five months in an industry internship with one of our company partners, Ada students build the skills and experience they need to become developers. We know our model works – 94% of our graduates are hired into full-time software engineering jobs within six months of graduation. 

We develop engineers who are highly skilled and collaborative; graduates are experienced in practical, team-based software development and learning new technology rapidly. Our students are highly diverse; all are women or gender-expansive, 72% are people of color, 40% are racial minorities underrepresented in tech (Black, Latine, Indigenous, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander), and 34% are LGBTQIA+. Through our internship program, we help you find your future software developer from our diverse talent pool while also providing inclusive leadership training to managers to build better teams, better tech, and better business.

Our company partners rave about Ada graduates:

“Ada is a great partner that produces professional, and technically skilled women, who have proven successful in a fast-paced, technically challenging environment. Not only have the employees that we have hired through Ada internships continued to grow in their careers, given the strong foundation they started with, but they have all been strong carriers of our core values. They are collaborative, communicative and passionate about their work…I’ve gotten to know a lot of different coding education programs, and Ada continues to be a favourite to work with.”


“Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace is a top priority for Skytap. We know we still have a long way to go, but also recognise, we would not be where we are today without Ada. We have learned a great deal on the importance of having diverse talent and perspectives and ​inclusion in the workplace at all levels. Our organisation absolutely reaps the rewards by having more diversity in thought as we build a great product for our customers.”


“The ability to attract outstanding tech talent is one of our greatest challenges. Ada has allowed us to do that while increasing the diversity of our workforce. Our software engineering organization is now 30% percent female — three times the national average. Ada has had a huge positive impact on our work culture. We’ve made improvements in our inclusivity and hiring practices, and it’s awesome to give our male developers the opportunity to work with devs who break the mold and shatter stereotypes.”


“After graduating from Ada, I not only successfully entered the industry but also advanced my career more quickly than I ever thought possible. Now, as a CTO, I can create opportunities for so many more people from non-traditional backgrounds, and I’m excited to impact how a whole company thinks about talent.”

Strike Graph CTO and Ada alum

“We want and could employ so many more Ada students.”


Ada welcomes companies of all sizes to share in our mission by becoming a partner. We not only partner with tech heavyweights like Amazon, Google, Uber, and Microsoft, but also smaller companies and startups seeking diverse talent. Alexandra Holien, VP of Revenue and Strategy at Ada explains, “Companies are finally seeing the positive impact diversity has on productivity and the bottom line. DEI has steadily and rightfully become a priority for big tech. We are giving them direct access to the most diverse pool of talented coders that will transcend the next generation.” 

After nearly ten years of success in Seattle, Ada began expanding operations across the U.S., starting with Atlanta in 2021 and the greater Washington, D.C. area in 2023. “Our aim in expanding to diverse cities that are beginning to experience tech industry growth is to ensure that the wealth generated by the industry benefits the whole community and not just a select few,” says Ada CEO Lauren Sato. “Coming from Seattle, we have seen how booming tech can push communities out of their city, and we hope to see Atlanta become the first market to grow tech from within.” 

Since our founding in 2013, Ada has served over 1,000 participants and generated $50M in new salaries for women and gender-expansive folks in the tech economy, narrowing gender and racial equity gaps in one of our most prosperous and influential sectors. 

Learn more at, and contact for information on partnering with us. Follow Ada on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Facebook

*Ada uses a national reference for the term “gender-expansive” (also sometimes called non-binary, non-conforming or genderqueer) and Transgender provided by GLAAD:  

Events Tips

Job Fairs for Tech Seekers

How easy is it for a developer to find a job? Someone would say really easy, given that developers are high in demand worldwide, but getting just the right job can be tricky.

You know, that job which will allow you to work remotely, on your own time schedule, offering training opportunities and also feel like you are making a difference. Believe it or not, this job really exists and finding it is easier than you thought.

Why choose a job fair?

For software engineers who are looking for an environment that will boost their productivity and most importantly their creativity, tech job fairs might be the best option for their search. Here’s why:

  • Networking. It’s the right place to establish meaningful connections & relationships with company representatives and other fellow developers.
  • You get to meet the company’s employees. Talk face to face (leaving aside the formality of an email) and ask the questions that are really troubling you, such as “Does the company provide a supportive environment for studies?” and many more.
  • Getting ahead of the competition. Let’s face it, even a spotless CV cannot compete with the lasting first impression. While a well-written resume can reflect your skills and experience, it could never show the soft skills employers are looking for.

Depending on the stage of your career and your geographic location, job fairs may be the next destination for your job search. That’s why we did the research for you! Below we have gathered some of the most interesting job fairs running in Europe & USA, for tech job seekers.

Tech Job Fairs in Europe:

  • London Tech Job Fair Spring 2020 by
    Pricing: FREE (VIP Job Seeker Pass €10.00 + €1.83 Fee)
    Venue: Central Foundation Boys’ School, Cowper Street, London, EC2A 4SH
    Country: United Kingdom
    Date: Thu, 27 February 2020, 18:30 – 21:00
    Hiring companies: causaLens, Digital insight, Workindenmark & more
  • Munich Tech Job Fair Spring 2020 by
    Pricing: FREE (VIP Job Seeker Pass €10.00 + €1.83 Fee)
    Venue: Munich (More info TBA)
    Country: Germany
    Date: Thu, 19 March 2020, 18:00 – 21:00
    Hiring companies:, Actyx, Hubert Burda Media, KAL & more
  • Barcelona Tech Job Fair Spring 2020 by
    Pricing: FREE (VIP Job Seeker Pass €10.00 + €1.83 Fee)
    Venue: Ilunion Hotel Barcelona, Carrer de Ramon Turró, 196-198, 08005 Barcelona
    Country: Spain
    Date: Thu, 26 March 2020, 18:00 – 21:00
    Hiring companies: Nestle, Netcentric, Workindenmark & more
  • Tech Job Fair Berlin by Tech Job Fairs
    Pricing: FREE
    Venue: Deutsche Telekom AG Hauptstadtrepräsentanz, Französische Straße 33a-c, 10117 Berlin
    Country: Germany
    Date: Thu, 16 April 2020, 15:00 – 20:00
    Speakers: QT, Cern, Deutsche Telekom, Zizoo, & more
  • Amsterdam Tech Job Fair Spring 2020 By Techmeetups
    Pricing: FREE (VIP Job Seeker Pass €10.00 + €1.83 Fee)
    Venue: Software Improvement Group, Fred. Roeskestraat 115, Amsterdam, 1076
    Country: Netherlands
    Date: Thu, 23 April 2020, 18:00 – 21:00
    Hiring companies: KLM Royal Dutch Company, Reducept & more
  • Bern Tech Job Fair 2020 By Techmeetups
    Pricing: FREE (VIP Job Seeker Pass €10.00 + €1.83 Fee)
    Venue: Berner GenerationenHaus – Spittelsaal, Bahnhofplatz 2, Postfach 3001 Bern, 3001 Bern
    Country: Switzerland
    Date: Thu, 30 April 2020, 18:00 – 21:00
    Hiring companies: MIACAR, & more
  • Zurich Tech Job Fair Spring 2020 By Techmeetups
    Pricing: FREE (VIP Job Seeker Pass €10.00 + €1.83 Fee)
    Venue: VOLKSHAUS ZÜRICH – Weisser Saal, Stauffacherstrasse 60, CH-8004 Zürich
    Country: Switzerland
    Date: Wed, 6 May 2020, 18:00 – 21:00
    Hiring companies: Contovista, MIACAR, TieTalent, Nortide & more
  • Tech Job Fair Vienna by Tech Job Fairs
    Pricing: FREE
    Venue: Aula der Wissenschaften, Wollzeile 27a, A-1010 Vienna
    Country: Austria
    Date: Wed, 13 May 2020, 14:00-20:00
    Speakers: Willhaben, Global Blue, Voi, Coders.Bay, Women And Code, & more
  • Madrid Tech Job Fair 2020 By Techmeetups
    Pricing: FREE (VIP Job Seeker Pass €10.00 + €1.83 Fee)
    Venue: Wild Code School Madrid, Calle de Serrano Anguita 10, Madrid
    Country: Spain
    Date: 14 May 2020, 18:00 – 21:00
    Hiring companies: AG Solution, Wild Code School & more
  • Hamburg Tech Job Fair 2020 By Techmeetups
    Pricing: FREE (VIP Job Seeker Pass €10.00 + €1.83 Fee)
    VenueHamburg (More info TBA)
    Country: Germany
    Date: Wed, 20 May 2020, 18:00 – 21:00
    Hiring companies: TBA
  • Stockholm Tech Job Fair Spring 2020 By Techmeetups
    Pricing: FREE (VIP Job Seeker Pass €10.00 + €1.83 Fee)
    Venue: Things, Drottning Kristinas väg. 53, Stockholm, 114 28 Stockholm
    Country: Sweden
    Date: Thu, 28 May 2020, 18:00 – 21:00
    Hiring companies: TBA
  • Tech Job Fair Lisbon by Tech Job Fairs
    Pricing: FREE
    Venue: Lisbon (More info TBA)
    Country: Portugal
    Date: Thu, 24 September 2020, 15:00 – 20:00
    Speakers: BNP Paribas, IAESTE Portugal, Grow Remote, Zoi & more
  • Tech Job Fair Zurich by Tech Job Fairs
    Pricing: FREE
    Venue: VOLKSHAUS / WEISSER SAAL, Stauffacherstrasse 60, 8004 Zürich
    Country: Switzerland
    Date: Thu, 15 October 2020, 15:00 – 20:00
    Speakers: Onedot, Voi Technology, talent4gig, SwissPropTech & more

Tech Job Fairs in the USA

  • IoT World Careers Fair by Informa Tech
    Pricing: FREE
    Venue: San Jose McEnery Convention Center, 150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113
    Country: United States
    Date: Wed, April 8, 2020, 14:00-17:00
  • WITI Annual Summit Career Fair by Professional Diversity Network
    Pricing: FREE
    Venue: Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, 1333 Old Bayshore Hwyr, Burlingame, CA 94010
    Country: United States
    Date: Wed, June 24, 2020, 10:30 – 14:30

What next?

Hopefully, this article helped some of you out there, searching for your next step. If you want more career advice, a while back we had a look into the Game Designer evolution and navigating between product and custom software development.

If you’ve heard of any other Job Fairs focusing on the tech industry please go ahead and leave us your comment.