Software developers working with databases are finding it difficult to manage their workloads and are struggling to find the bandwidth to take on more projects. A survey conducted by Couchbase of 533 US-based software developers, ranging from individual contributors to C-levels, shows that nine out of 10 developers are at or over their work capacity. With IT infrastructures continuing to become more complex, this doesn't bode well for already strained developers. What's more, roughly three out of four sometimes or consistently take on responsibilities outside of their job descriptions, with only 5.1% saying they have the ability to take on more projects.
The survey data also revealed that respondents with roles at manager-level and above are facing challenges hiring developers with the right skill set, indicating a developer experience gap. Managers reported they are seeking developers with skills in cloud-based technologies, Structured Query Language (SQL) and experience working with teammates throughout the data lifecycle.
As hiring managers grapple with limited developer talent, developers taking on extra responsibilities are left feeling increased stress levels (54.1%), overwhelmed (43.8%) and burned out (40.2%).
The question is: What's really getting in the way of productivity?
Developers Need Automated and Modern, SQL-based Tools to Boost Productivity
The survey found that the top internal challenges faced by development teams include a technical skills shortage, the inability to quickly provision databases or other systems and privacy regulations restricting the use of data when developing apps and products. They also cited a lack of technical resources and platforms for successful development — as they often must choose from a narrow pool of "approved" tools by their company — along with a lack of visibility and communication between departments.
These hurdles are causing roadblocks, putting a damper on developers' daily workflows. Productivity delays can be attributed to the majority of developers (87.2%) still using legacy relational databases as their primary database to build applications. These systems can be brittle and often do not provide the flexibility, scalability and agility required to keep up with modern applications.
Developer teams need tools that cultivate efficiency, not bog them down. This is why many developer teams are pointing to automation and SQL-based database tools as the top two ways to increase productivity. In fact, developers say speed, flexibility, security, scalability and cost savings are key factors influencing them to explore non-relational databases (e.g., NoSQL). What can make these wish list items a reality for developers?
Non-relational Databases Are Top-Notch Performers
Non-relational databases can provide developers with the speed, flexibility, security, scalability and cost savings they are looking for while allowing them to work in a familiar language. For developers, this means less work to get up and running. They're able to leverage existing skills with the familiarity of SQL — the most well-known database language.
For example, SQL++ is a high-performance SQL-based query language that makes it easy for SQL developers to transition to non-relational databases, which are designed to handle unstructured and semi-structured data. As opposed to relying on a fixed schema, non-relational systems are well-suited for handling large, complex datasets and are optimized for high performance.
It's time for enterprises to consider migrating away from legacy databases and towards modern, scalable non-relational databases that bring together the best of NoSQL document databases and relational databases. Though only 6.6% of teams use non-relational databases as their primary database, it won't be long until that number grows as developers and decision-makers seek a solution that delivers scalability, reliability and reduces costs. Automating repetitive, lower-value tasks can free up developers' time so they can focus on higher-value projects like creating business-critical applications and writing code.
The bottom line: When developers have access to tools that address their needs, teams will be more productive and satisfied at work, allowing them to keep pace with modernization efforts and build better apps.