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Covid-19’s Impact on the Software Industry and Programmers

December 30, 2020

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In the last 10 months, many businesses underwent a significant digital and structural transformation in the struggle to adapt to an extraordinary situation. The new circumstances and challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions in the normal workflow and in the way software vendors sell their products. Let’s take a closer look at how the global health crisis impacted the software industry. 

COVID-19 Has Changed the Way We Buy and Sell

Even in a technology-driven world, face-to-face sales are still as important as ever, but the pandemic has forced both buyers and sellers to go primarily digital. COVID-19 has changed the world of sales, forcing many software vendors to most quickly in order to stay in business. Classic interactive training sessions or presentations organized in meeting spaces were replaced by virtual sales meetings.

“Before the pandemic, 90% of our sales training was instructor-led and in-person. Now, none of it is. As anyone who has ever gone through online training knows, being with your cat and your third grapefruit seltzer is not quite the same as partaking in a cookie tray in a hotel conference room with your instructor and classmates (…) Prior to COVID-19, clients and instructors would gather in hotel rooms for interactive training sessions that lasted one or two days, eight hours each — a nice break from home and a way for team members to get valuable face time with each other. During quarantine, experience management has helped us fine-tune our virtual instructor-led training to make those trainings just as valuable and interactive as an in-person experience”, Brody Clemmer, Senior Product Manager, Richardson Sales Performance, wrote in a Forbes story.

Developers’ Wellbeing – Quarantine Work Is Not Remote Work

As the new coronavirus took the world by storm, millions of software developers began working from home. According to a study conducted on over 2,000 programmers, the pandemic has had a negative effect on developers’ wellbeing and productivity. 

Although there are numerous studies about remote work out there, few of them investigated the effects of working from home during disasters. The study discovered that stress, isolation, travel restrictions, business closures, and the absence of educational, childcare, and fitness facilities tend to take a toll on individuals working from home. 

“Rather than working in a remote office or well-appointed home office, some people are working in bedrooms, at kitchen tables, and on sofas while partners, children, siblings, parents, roommates, and pets distract them. Others are isolated in a studio or one-bedroom apartment. With schools and childcare closed, many parents juggle work with not only childcare but also homeschooling or monitoring remote schooling activities and keeping children engaged. Some professionals have the virus or are caring for ill family members”, the study shows. 

Pandemic Brings Bank Low-code Development Tools

Although the use of low-code has been on the rise over the past years, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a major spike. Many companies, big and small, found themselves forced to reinvent their established practices and client services. 

A research study released in November 2020 by Nuxeo revealed that almost two-thirds of software developers have increased their use of low-code development tools in 2020. The research also found that 70% of software developers believe digital transformation has become more of a priority to their enterprise since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. However, 47% of those surveyed say they lack the tools to build applications and products to meet short deadlines. Additionally, 44% say their business has abandoned application projects because they took too long, according to the research cited by SolutionsReview.

„The pandemic has only served to accelerate digital transformation programs that were already underway, with businesses having to shift further online, provide new customer experiences, and deliver better products quicker than ever. Organizations need the right tools to improve agility, flexibility, and to respond to market demands quicker — for content-based applications; the right tools mean low-code development”,  Chris McLaughlin, chief product and marketing officer at Nuxeo, said in a press statement. 

New Challenges Require New Tools

As working from home quickly became the norm, employees faced new challenges with new tools, which led to many workplace-collaboration apps reporting record sales. Some software categories increased their customer base greatly, taking advantage of the increased demand for certain services. 

In order to facilitate communication with each other and with clients, staff started to take advantage of collaborative video tools or business management software. For example, Zoom’s revenues surged more than 100% in the second quarter of 2020, while customer growth rose by a whopping 458% compared to the corresponding period of last year. Other productivity tools, such as Slack or Rocket Chat, have skyrocketed as well.

The COVID-19 crisis certainly had a big impact on most businesses. As the pandemic continues to push big changes at a faster pace than we ever imagined, hardly any global industry will be spared.