The Brisbane Software Development Market is Burgeoning as Normality Resumes

Meeting the Needs of the Application Development Market in Brisbane

Software Development is an area where we have seen a lot of movement and potential in the last couple of years in Brisbane. As organisations transform their businesses through technological innovation, we are seeing demand for IT specialists to drive and support change. Below, I share insights on recent trends in the Software Development market and what lies ahead for employers and workers.

Key Market Trends

The most significant trend in the last 12-18 months has been the shift towards front-end, with organisations realising its value and how it can put them ahead of their competitors. We’ve also seen increased in the adoption of cloud services and have every reason to believe this will continue.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, we are still seeing demand from our clients for developers with experience in these areas, particularly from organisations with a large customer base in the insurance, super, finance, retail and government sectors. In these roles, candidates typically contract on large and specialised projects with average contracts running from six months to two years. Rolling contracts for skilled candidates are common, however, as employers seek to retain top talent.

A Range of Application Development Opportunities

Both we and our clients are aware that there is a shortage of IT specialists with the right combination of technical skills and commercial experience in Brisbane.

In our experience, projects are the key to attracting top talent. Large projects, such as rewrites, migrations and greenfield projects, are a major drawcard as they offer developers a chance to gain valuable experience, enhancing their skillset and CV.

For candidates with experience in app development and strong commercial exposure – especially in high demand specialisms – opportunities abound. We find that employers tend to look favourably on candidates who already have a base understanding of the technology and, ideally, some familiarity with it in the workplace. If you have the chance to volunteer on a project with a skill you might not have in your current role, we recommend you take it. The experience could provide you with a foot in the door for future opportunities.

Living in Brisbane

If you are thinking of making the move interstate, you’ll find that Brisbane is a welcoming city with a great climate and lifestyle. Salaries are slightly lower than other major Australian cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, but you’ll get significantly more for your money. The local purchasing power is almost 18% higher in Brisbane than Sydney and more than 8.5% higher than in Melbourne. Rent and house prices are cheaper, groceries are more competitively priced, and you will even spend less on going to the gym.

There are plenty of things to see and do in Brisbane. The 20km Riverwalk is a great way to explore the south and north banks of the river on foot or by bike. The South Bank is home to a wonderful array of galleries and entertainment, and the city’s two stadiums host regular sporting events. In terms of eateries, there are restaurants, bars and cafés that cater to all tastes and some great nightlife options too. You will also find beautiful beaches and sandy spots, some just a short drive from the CBD. Our favourites include Tangalooma Beach, perfect for dolphin spotting, and Sandgate foreshore for dog walks and fish & chips.

Accommodation in and around Brisbane varies from small city-based apartments to large suburban family homes. From quiet leafy suburbs like Tingalpa and Chelmer to inner-city sanctuaries like Kangaroo Point, there is an area to suit everyone. According to Budget Direct, in December 2019, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Brisbane’s city centre was just under $1,678, more than $900 cheaper than in Sydney where tenants pay over $2,537 per month for a one-bedder. It’s also cheaper to buy real estate in Brisbane than in Sydney or Melbourne. In 2019, prospective homebuyers could expect to pay around $4,291 per square metre outside Brisbane’s city centre, compared with over $7,732 for locations outside Melbourne CBD. In Sydney, the cost per square metre outside the CBD was even higher at almost $8,651.

We know that relocation can be challenging, but if you are committed to making the move interstate, the Emanate team is here to support you every step of the way.

Future Outlook

Many projects have only recently started, and some are, at most, at the halfway mark. As we begin to come out of the COVID pandemic we are seeing essential projects pick back up. As organisations ramp up their commitment to technological innovation, it is likely that we’ll see more Development jobs and a greater need for skilled candidates. We believe that mobile development is going to be a big focus in the next couple of years, especially for organisations with a strong customer base. It has been slowly picking up in Brisbane. Cloud services will continue to expand too, both for basic use, such as data storage, and as clients prepare to enable next wave technologies.

Due to the uncertainty in the current job market resulting from COVID-19, we have seen several candidates with hard-to-find skills actively looking for new opportunities in the Development space. For organisations with projects underway or due to start shortly, now is the time to access talent that isn’t normally available. 

If you are considering relocating to Brisbane for a Development role or you are looking for specialist tech talent to grow your team, get in touch with me today.