I keep coming across news media articles reporting a dearth of software developers and how US companies are struggling to find and retain them. The typical article usually quotes hiring managers claiming they receive few, if any, responses to their job postings. Also, there's the corporate executives bemoaning the talent "shortage" and how it is limiting their company's growth prospect. The article invariably ends with an industry "expert" making a doomsday prediction of how the "shortage" will decimate the economy and recommends more STEM funding and government intervention to open up barriers to obtaining technical talent.
As a .NET developer with over 20 years of software development who is actively looking for a gig in the Southern part of the US, I have a hard time believing there's a talent shortage. If there is one, it certainly doesn't appear that way given my experience or from what I hear from other job hunters. I have managed software teams and have worked on software titles you probably have used. Somehow, it seems like every employer is looking for the next Linus Torvalds. Before I even get a chance to speak to anyone, I'm asked to complete an online IQ test or programming test in which I get a rejection email an hour later. After taking these test, I was treated to a 3 hour whiteboard marathon where I had to solve classroom CS questions. I usually left feeling drained and frustrated.
In contrast, when I ventured into the workforce from college 20 years ago, there was no mention of a "talent" shortage, but it sure felt like there was one. Job postings were just as plentiful, but were more technically genralized. It was common for a C++ programmer to be chosen over a VB programmer for a VB position. Employers treated you the same way as they treated their lawyer or doctor. It was very disrespectful to waste someone's time and subject them to what amounts to a hazing ritual. They also wanted to get to know who you were as a person. Surprisingly, salaries, while slightly higher today, is actually lower when adjusted for inflation.
If there is indeed a shortage, why are employers behaving as if they can pick the cream of the crop?