From ordering a ride home on Uber to buying dinner on Deliveroo, apps play a central part in many of our daily lives. As they continue to do so, application developers – the people that design and maintain such apps – are in increasingly high demand.

Research by Outsystems, a low-code platform, has shown the extent of this growing application developer demand: the number of app dev projects expected to be completed this year has increased by 60%.

Out of those with application development projects in the pipeline, 38% plan on delivering 25 or more apps by the end of the year. This is according to a survey of over 3,300 IT professionals from various industries around the world, which also found that 60% of respondents have invested in a customer-centric approach to application development.

The main task of an application developer involves taking a brief for computer software and turning that into a workable programming code that meets a business’ needs.

They are also tasked with maintenance and making future modifications or updates to the software.

Application developer demand fed by world’s hunger for apps

In 2018, these skills were required to create mobile apps that were downloaded by 205.4 billion people in 2018. That figure is projected to rise to 258.2 billion downloads by 2022.

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By GlobalData

The IT profession is well aware of these shortages. the research suggests, with 75% responding that app dev talent is scarce. And only 36% of organisations have grown their team in the last year, suggesting that retaining application developers is becoming harder as demand for them increases.

Because of this talent scarcity, there is a backlog of app development projects – 64% of IT professionals reported this to be the case.

The high-demand, low-supply of application developers has resulted in high average salaries. For an application developer with Java skills in the US, the average salary is $68, 357, according to PayScale. For those with 10-20 years’ experience, that figure nears $100,000.

Low-code, no problem

The report also found that low-code is becoming more mainstream.

Low-code lets application developers design software applications using a graphical user interface instead of traditional coding (think of it is a template for coding).

Previously considered to be for innovators and early adopters, 41% of respondents said their organisation was using a low-code application platform.

The State of Application Development 2019 report also found while 60% of organisations have invested in agile tools – those that support a collaborative and fast-changing approach to software development – there is still some room for improvement.

“Our 2019 survey shows that many IT departments are facing a multitude of disruptive forces when it comes to digital transformation and application development,” said Steve Rotter, CMO for OutSystems.

“The threat of digital disruption and the need for digital transformation has been a driver of IT strategy for years. Add to that the current uncertain global economic outlook, and it becomes obvious why business leaders are so concerned about agility today.”

You can find the full OutSystems report here.

Read more: Technical debt, slow coding cause half of app development requests to fail: Appian