Tech Talent in Barcelona: statistics & facts

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The digital transformation increases demand for tech talent to cover current jobs and those created as new. According to European Commission report, 80% of all Spaniards between the ages of 20 and 30 who find work in the near future will be in emerging jobs or jobs that do not exist at present, most will be related to tech talent. 

Tech talent: the gap between supply and demand is growing

The European ecosystem of tech talent is more interconnected than ever. However, this supply will not meet the demand for tech talent and the gap is forecast to increase over the coming years. Germany and the United Kingdom are the countries with most professional developers. Spain, with 305,500, is in sixth place behind Russia and Italy. ( Source: Digital Talent Report ).  And in Barcelona, the demand for tech profiles has increased by almost 40% in one year, whereas the profiles available has grown by just 7.6%. There is a tech talent gap that must be reduced.

Countries with the highest population of professional software developers 

Spain is the third most popular destination for European tech talent, after the United Kingdom, which stands first, and Germany.

Remuneration for tech talent is extremely varied in Europe. San Francisco and New York are the cities offering the highest salaries to their digital professionals, followed at a distance by London and cities in Germany and Ireland, who offer the highest salaries in Europe.

Salaries in Spain are highly competitive in relation to other countries and hubs of reference. It is important to highlight that Barcelona offers higher salaries than Madrid in the tech sector. 

Tech Talent in Barcelona: statistics & facts 4

Why software developers are moving to Barcelona?

Software developers can get a job anywhere in the world. In fact, they don’t even have to settle down, they can work from any place in the world thanks to remote working options. So why are more and more developers choosing to move to Barcelona?

  Backend developer job offer

According to Barcelona Startups News, these are the main reasons for software developers to move to Barcelona. 

  1. Tech Stack: The #1 priority for developers is the opportunity to work with exciting technologies. Barcelona’s affinity for innovation is reflected in the companies’ choice of tech: Node.js, React, etc. 
  2. Company Culture: work environment and company culture are a close second. Developers move to Barcelona because they prefer to work in a startup environment, with international teams that use English as a common language and work with methodologies like Agile and Scrum. 
  3. The city itself requires no introduction: Barcelona is the whole package: beach, mountains, fantastic weather, culture and tech. 
  4. Quality of life: The quality of life you can maintain in Barcelona is incomparable to many other European cities. The salaries in major tech hubs like London and Berlin are higher, but the cost of living is much lower in Barcelona. Access to good quality healthcare, education, travel connections, etc. 
  5. Role & Company: Barcelona is home to several international tech companies that have a good reputation and a leading position in their own markets, as well as innovative local startups that offer constant challenges and high-responsibilities roles. 
  6. Work-life balance: People here value their free time, plus they have the most bank holidays in a year in all of Europe, which means plenty of opportunities for travelling. 
  7. Startup Scene: Barcelona is a great place not only to work at startups but also to start your own project. 

Tech Professions in most demand in Barcelona

Xavier Ferràs – Executive Director, Custom Programs, ESADE Business & Law School says: 

« It is difficult to determine the technologies that will have most impact on the employment market in the short term (5 years). When speaking of technological change, acceleration and disruption develop in very fast, unexpected intervals, often after long periods of maturity. In the short term, it is clear that advanced robotics will be able to take on an increasing number of mechanical and repetitive tasks. However, in the medium term artificial intelligence will be the true transformative force capable of replacing cognitive tasks and leading to new business models that we might not imagine at present, even being able to create new industries and new value chains. The Internet of Things or Big Data will create the platforms for the rise of artificial intelligence. Driverless cars will be a subsegment of artificial intelligence and, on the other hand, the advent of genomics cannot be forgotten, also promoted by data and artificial intelligence, with the incredible possibilities offered by personalised medicine, consumer genetics or even artificial life »

  Project Manager job offer

Xavier highlights 5 most popular technologies: Big Data Analytics, App and Web-enabled Markets, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing. 

Also, according to Digital Talent Report, the boom in new technologies will increase the demand for professionals such as data and scientific analysis specialists, software and app programmers and specialists in e-commerce and social networks. Specialists in artificial intelligence, Big Data, machine learning, information security analysts, and robotics and blockchain engineers will be most in demand.

Web development is currently the technology most in demand by companies in Barcelona according to demand for talent.

How to reverse the current tech gap?

Companies must assume leadership in the creation of training programmes for their employees in order to support the transition to future professions. More than half of the companies indicate that their employees will be trained through in-house departments, one quarter through private training providers and around one fifth through public education institutions.

Xavier Tuduri – CEO at ServiZurich says: 

« Barcelona has many conditions to consolidate as one of the great hubs for the development of the digital economy; the vibrant ecosystem of startups, the celebration of large world technology conferences such as MWCongress and the establishment in the city of digital innovation centers of large multinationals are some examples. Zurich has established its technological Hub in Barcelona since 2006, offering services to the entire Group. The biggest challenge to maintain competitiveness will be to sustain a growth in the attraction and generation of digital talent according to the needs of the market»

  Chaos engineering technique

In Apiumhub, we believe that market changes very fast and it is very important to accompany professionals throughout the retraining process, from making them aware of the need to acquire new tech skills to the training itself. Therefore this year we actively contribute to Apium Academy – high-quality software development courses focusing on best practices, working software and practical solutions for current issues. 

Evgeny Predein – CEO of Apium Academy says:

“ We adapt software development training programmes to the evolution and needs of the market. We regularly ask companies and developers about their challenges and needs and adapt the courses to their requirements. We believe it is key to training professionals with the skills required by the market.” 

Also, we highly believe in software development communities in Barcelona. Being part of particular software development communities determine the pace of the progression in a particular language or field of expertise. Communities provide excellent learning experience,  up-to-date information and problem-solving, insightful answers and new perspectives, tips and tricks for all-level programmers, links to resources, talks and research papers. Software development communities force improvements and growth through regular meetups. Coding dojos, katas, events, conferences, open source projects and other initiatives.

 In conclusion, I would like to say that we live in a very fast-changing era, but it doesn’t mean something bad, it means a lot of opportunities! And now it is our turn to “grow through, what we go through”.  


  • Ekaterina Novoseltseva

    Ekaterina Novoseltseva is an experienced CMO and Board Director. Professor in prestigious Business Schools in Barcelona. Teaching about digital business design. Right now Ekaterina is a CMO at Apiumhub - software development hub based in Barcelona and organiser of Global Software Architecture Summit. Ekaterina is proud of having done software projects for companies like Tous, Inditex, Mango, Etnia, Adidas and many others. Ekaterina was taking active part in the Apiumhub office opening in Paseo de Gracia and in helping companies like Bitpanda open their tech hubs in Barcelona.

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