OverOps surveyed over 600 engineering professionals for the 2020 State of Software Quality Report and found that the struggle to balance release speed and quality hurts developer productivity.
It used to be said that if you’re not breaking things, you’re not moving fast enough. But today it seems that if you’re breaking things, there’s a good chance you need to slow down a bit and focus on quality – unless you want your customers and product roadmap to pay the price.
We recently surveyed over 600 software development and delivery professionals for the 2020 State of Software Quality Report in order to get a sense of how organizations are balancing speed and stability across the pipeline. What we found comes as no surprise: competitive demand for speed is writing checks that developers – and customers – simply can’t cash.
Today’s Organizations are Moving Faster than Ever Before
According to survey findings, the overwhelming majority of engineering organizations (70%) say that software quality trumps delivery speed, yet development teams are moving faster than ever. Over half of respondents (59%) said they release new code/ features anywhere from bi-weekly to multiple times a day, while only 19% follow a quarterly or less frequent cadence. Additionally, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, both hallmarks of accelerated software delivery pipelines, were among the top areas of DevOps investment, at 54% and 42%, respectively, while testing/software quality and observability and monitoring, key components of software quality success, fell lower on the list, at 34% and 21%.
Code Quality is Suffering
Over half of survey respondents (53%) indicated that they encounter critical or customer-impacting issues in production at least one or more times a month. Compounding the impact of these critical production errors is the frequency at which they are first detected by customers, rather than by internal error detection mechanisms. Nearly a quarter of survey respondents said that over 40% of critical production issues are first reported by end users or customers rather than by internal tools or processes.
And so is Developer Productivity
As a result of these frequent critical production errors, development teams are spending a considerable amount of time troubleshooting code-related issues. Even with heavy investment in APM and log management tools, two out of three survey respondents report spending at least a day per week troubleshooting issues in their code, with 30% spending anywhere from 2 days to a full week.
This indicates not only a failure in pre-production error detection, but also shortcomings in existing troubleshooting methods. The more time teams are spending troubleshooting, the less time they are able to invest in building new features and meeting critical product roadmap deadlines.
How Can You Cut Down Troubleshooting Time?
The 2020 State of Software Quality Report shows just how much work there is to be done in identifying and resolving issues. Data points to new approaches like dynamic code analysis as a possible answer to overcoming this challenge.
However, implementing a culture of ownership across your team can also be key to improving productivity. Adopting practices like blameless post-mortems and enhanced alert routing can help ensure clarity and drive efficiency in times of crisis.
Sign-up for our upcoming webinar on September 9th where we’ll discuss actionable best practices for building a culture of accountability in your organization.