The Latest Trends in Developer Productivity
February 18, 2016

Baruch Sadogursky

The advent of DevOps has completely changed the way we build and deliver software and, inevitably, creates unique challenges for developers juggling a wide range of tools successfully. JFrog recently conducted a survey to gain insights into how developers and DevOps engineers use different tools and technologies and the challenges they encounter in their daily work. Upon comparing these findings to those of a similar survey conducted in 2013, things seem to be getting better for developers and DevOps, but the advances are not evenly distributed, as some areas have seen dramatic improvements while others have remained relatively stable.

The survey drew in over 1,000 responses from more than 50 countries, the majority coming from the US (45 percent) and Europe (25 percent). Nine different industry sectors were significantly represented, the dominant ones being telecommunications, technology, Internet and electronics, and finance and financial services.

Combining Multiple Technologies is Getting Easier

The most dramatic finding was that integrating multiple types of libraries and languages, which has long been a serious pain point for developers, has become much easier over the last two years. The number of developers who identified this as the most challenging task dropped from 37 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2015. This clearly shows that using multiple types of platforms and technologies, even in a single application, is the new norm.

Developer Productivity is Increasing

Developers reported a decrease in “very time consuming” non-development tasks across the board. The most striking result is the decrease in the number of developers complaining about waiting during build and test time, as the automation of continuous delivery pipelines makes them more efficient.

Last Minute Code Changes Are Not Going Away

Last minute code changes remain the number one reason for release delays, but progress is being made in reducing their negative impact with automated continuous delivery pipelines, which shorten release cycles and thus enable teams to better react to sudden changes.

Celebrating Diversity

One of the clearest and most significant findings in the survey is that developers and DevOps engineers are using more and more development technologies in their daily work, with some using as many as six or seven different formats simultaneously. An overwhelming 76 percent of respondents used more than one development and packaging technology in their most recent project. This was especially true for Docker users, 91 percent of whom indicated that they use two or more technologies and 27 percent using six technologies at a time.

All in all, developer productivity is increasing, especially when it comes to automated continuous delivery pipelines and integrating multiple technology platforms. This finding supports Forrester’s claim that continuous delivery pipelines are the primary means by which organizations achieve rapid software delivery cycles.

Baruch Sadogursky is the Developer Advocate at JFrog.

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