The Impact of COVID-19 on Developer Satisfaction
September 09, 2020

Ravi Lachhman

Today, every company is a tech company. Enterprises need to deliver flawless digital experiences to customers faster than their competitors, and they rely on developers to make this happen. The skills developers provide are hard to find and easy to lose, and the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has introduced a bevy of new challenges that developers have never encountered before, from company-wide shifts to remote work, budget cuts, layoffs, and salary freezes. Product development has never been more important to a company's survival, which makes the overall satisfaction of today's developer workforce critical.

In an effort to cope with the shifting times, Harness sent out a comprehensive survey to 500 developers in peer organizations to measure the impact that demographics, job skills, company culture and the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic have on software delivery and job satisfaction. Our 2020 State of Developer Satisfaction Report found key themes around the drive, resilience, and overall outlook of our developer peers. Read below for key findings:

Driving Business Changes

To adapt to the rapidly changing conditions, businesses had to adapt to meet the new and unforeseen needs of their clients. Core to making business rules or functionality changes to applications are development teams. For example, an airline extending credits for a longer period of time seems easy on paper to the unfamiliar but most likely need to touch several dozen live systems and services where expertise is scattered.

Forty-three percent (43%) of respondents said their deployment velocity increased which is staggering. In the high tech industry, we typically see pretty high deployment velocity compared to other industries and with so many engineers experiencing even higher velocity of change shows that business and engineers are committed to making impactful changes and a majority all while working remotely.

Changing How We Work

I personally am very grateful that I don't have to be on the front lines in the pandemic and can continue my occupation remotely. Technology firms were already well poised to support remote teams though in major technology hubs like San Francisco, the radio dial was previously turned toward having folks being co-located. Since the start of the pandemic, 74% of respondents said their firms will continue to encourage a remote developer workforce even after the pandemic is over which represents a fundamental shift.

Learning and growth are important to our careers also. Being in the office and having the ability to travel to meetups or trade events were core to learning and development. With the shift to many of these events being virtual, employers are allowing for additional flexibility to attend virtual events. An overwhelming majority (94%) of respondents were satisfied with the investment in growth and learning which trickle into overall happiness.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

In the software world, there will always be nits (nitpicks) in your codebase, team, and career. With the ongoing pandemic, having the ability to stay out of harm's way and continue to make a business impact puts the smaller stuff, aka nits, into perspective. To validate this, 52% percent of developers said that they are happier in their role since the pandemic began.

Taking Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs into account, as a society when more basic needs are met we can start climbing the hierarchy. When we produce the 2021 report, we will be interested in using the 2020 numbers as a benchmark for overall satisfaction if the nits come back. If the nits come back, basic needs are certainly being met more and we can focus on the top of the hierarchy. As the pandemic continues to take its course, we will continue to move forward.

Moving Forward

The resilience and adaptability of those interviewed in the technology profession are impressive. Like so many other fields, the unprecedented times and challenges are taxing for many individuals. As we benchmarked peer firms, developer satisfaction might be higher in the competitive technology industry versus other industries and the report can be used as a benchmark.

Ravi Lachhman is a Tech Evangelist at Harness
Share this

Industry News

October 06, 2022 announced it has partnered with MongoDB.

October 06, 2022

Veracode announced the enhancement of its Continuous Software Security Platform to include container security.

This early access program for Veracode Container Security is now underway for existing customers.

The new Veracode Container Security offering, designed to meet the needs of cloud-native software engineering teams, addresses vulnerability scanning, secure configuration, and secrets management requirements for container images.

October 06, 2022

Mirantis announced that Mirantis Container Runtime – latest generation of the Docker Enterprise Engine, the secure container runtime that forms the foundation of Mirantis Container Cloud and Mirantis Kubernetes Engine and is used at the heart of many other Kubernetes deployments – is now available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

October 05, 2022

Perforce Software announced enhanced support for automated testing with the release of Helix ALM 2022.2.

October 05, 2022

Parasoft announced the latest releases of its API and microservices testing tools, including SOAtest, Virtualize, CTP, and Selenic.

October 05, 2022

Vaadin announced the release of four Acceleration Kits designed to make it faster and easier to build and modernize Java applications for enterprise use.

October 04, 2022

Pegasystems announced the latest release of Robot Studio, the robotic process automation (RPA) low-code authoring environment for Pega's intelligent automation platform.

October 04, 2022

EvolveWare announced the Agile Business Rules Extraction (Agile BRE) solution on its Intellisys platform.

October 04, 2022

Mabl announced new features that empower quality professionals to easily validate APIs as part of their integrated end-to-end tests.

October 03, 2022

Spectro Cloud announced a major new release of its Palette Edge platform.

October 03, 2022

Arcion announced agentless change data capture (CDC) for all of its supported databases and applications.

September 29, 2022

CloudBees announced the acquisition of ReleaseIQ to expand the company’s DevSecOps capabilities, empowering customers with a low-code, end-to-end release orchestration and visibility solution.

September 29, 2022

SmartBear continues expanding its commitment to the Atlassian Marketplace, adding Bugsnag for Jira and SwaggerHub Integration for Confluence.

Bugsnag developers monitoring application stability and documenting in Jira no longer need to interrupt their workflow to access the app. Developers working in SwaggerHub can use the macro to push API definitions and changes directly to other teams and business stakeholders that work within Confluence. By increasing the presence of SmartBear tools on the Atlassian Marketplace, the company continues meeting developers where they are.

September 29, 2022

Ox Security exited stealth today with $34M in funding led by Evolution Equity Partners, Team8, and M12, Microsoft's venture fund, with participation from Rain Capital.

September 29, 2022 announced that the new Intel Developer Cloud is now available via the Metacloud platform, providing a fully integrated software and hardware solution.