SolarWinds announces IT Pro Day 2022 Award winners, survey findings

Thomas LaRock, Head Geek™ at SolarWinds

SolarWinds, a provider of simple, powerful, and secure IT management software, unveils the results of its new survey examining the state of the technology job market amid industry-wide labour shortages and hiring challenges. Released to coincide with the eighth-annual IT Pro Day holiday, the survey found despite a potential economic downturn, over two-thirds of tech and IT professionals surveyed said they’re completely confident in their career choices.

But with the “great resignation” resulting in tens of millions of employees changing jobs, only half of the respondents felt their companies have been adequately staffed in recent years. 

To combat these staffing issues and recruit during a historically tight labor market, 59% of respondents said their company has added more flexibility in hours and work location, while a third (33%) said their employer has increased pay. Meanwhile, when asked what’s most important to them in their careers, IT pros ranked salary and work-life balance highest.

What were the findings of the survey?

Key IT Pro Day survey findings:

  • More than two-thirds (67%) of IT pros surveyed say they’re completely confident about their career choice, even in the face of a potential economic downturn. However, a third (33%) did say they’re at least a little worried about their job futures. 
  • 22% started a new job within the last year, and a full 51% percent said they’d at least considered doing so.
  • But less than a third (34%) of those who changed positions said they loved their new job. 15% said their new position is worse than their previous one, while 54% said their new role is about the same.
  • When asked to rank what’s most important to them in their careers, pay and work-life balance were the top two responses chosen by IT pros.
  • However, nearly a third (31%) of respondents say they don’t feel fairly compensated in their role, and only 4% believe they’re overpaid. 
  • Respondents were split on whether their companies had been staffed appropriately over the last two years, with half (50%) saying they feel like they’re doing two jobs and the other half (50%) replying their company is staffed adequately.
  • But for those respondents who feel their company is understaffed, relief may not be coming right away—46% of respondents say their company has now either slowed or frozen hiring amid a potential economic slowdown. 

“The survey makes clear IT and tech sectors haven’t been immune to the staffing challenges posed by the ‘great resignation’ and COVID,” said SolarWinds Head Geek Thomas LaRock.

“This is challenging for IT teams because they’re not only feeling understaffed but also are expected to do more with less as network environments become increasingly complicated. Remote work and hybrid and multi-cloud environments have made it difficult to keep networks—running smoothly but these IT pros show up every day to get the job done.”

Who were the SolarWinds IT Pro Day Award Winners?

SolarWinds also announced the winners of this year’s IT Pro Day Awards. Though the work of IT professionals is vital to the continued operation of every organisation, their efforts can often be taken for granted. Each of the honourees has demonstrated commitment to their role and excellence in their profession despite increased workloads, the challenges posed by remote work, and the rapid implementation of new tools and technologies like AI. 

Trailblazer Award: Damstra Insights team

Damstra Insights team is a team that knows the transformative power that comes to a business when its vast stores of data are unlocked, and actionable insights are revealed.

It consists of data engineers, BI analysts, product managers, and QA experts. Nothing delights us more than to know our work has the real potential to reduce risk in heavy industries, which in turn ensures workers go safely back home to their families each day.

Rookie of the Year: Name: Sebastian Gonzalez (United States)

Sebastian works at Rock Energy Systems in Wisconsin. He’s graduating this year with a Bachelor’s in Data Analytics and Data Management from Western Governors University.

Though he has only been with Rock Energy for nine months, Sebastian has had the chance to make an immediate impact. He’s managed to quickly develop his technical and professional skills while gaining extensive hands-on experience. Sebastian is excited to apply his growing knowledge to new scenarios and use cases as he continues to further his career in IT. 

Rockstar of the Year: Tim Techathuvanan (United States)

Tim Techathuvanan has been programming professionally since he was a teenager. He took a few years off to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin before returning to programming as a quantitative analyst for a hedge fund.

After a few years at the SEC and another stint in finance, he decided to retire from that career and start a new one automating IT administration. He is currently automating virtual server management for the National Institutes of Health and learning new things every day.

IT Mentor of the Year: Zia Ur Rehman (Pakistan)

Zia Ur Rehman, a tech enthusiast and an entrepreneur with multiple startups, is on the road to becoming a tech industry veteran. He started this journey with Cleodora – a tech startup. Having mentored multiple ventures on the way, he made his mark as the CEO of ‘CodesOrbit‘ and is currently vested in transforming the world with AI and ML as the Co-Founder of “RevolveAI” – a trailblazing firm specialising in core AI and machine learning technologies.

Having pooled a decade of experience in “ideapreneurship” with an unquenchable desire to bring innovation, Zia engages with young minds and mentors them toward leadership. IT Pro Day was established by SolarWinds to recognise the essential, and often unseen, work these IT pros achieve around the world on a daily basis. To read more, visit www.itproday.org.