New Research Reveals U.S. Companies are Spending an Estimated $61B a Year on Tasks Many Devs and DevOps Consider Frustrating, Instead of on Innovation

Garden’s Report Shows the Impact of ‘Lost Time’ on the Bottom Line and Job Satisfaction Among Critical Tech Employees

BERLIN, March 31, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New research released today from Garden reveals that developers and DevOps professionals spend over 15 hours on tasks which many consider to be frustrating like debugging pipelines, and waiting for tests and builds—amounting to 39% of a 40 hour work week, derailing company innovation cycles and their ability to compete. Available for download, the company’s report “In Search of Lost Time: Developer Productivity in the Cloud Native Era” quantifies the likely cost to businesses as up to a staggering $61 billion per year in the U.S. alone, based on median pay and number of software developer jobs as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We see it happening all the time—individual developers waste hours or even full days every week solving the same old problems in isolation, and many assume that’s just the way it has to be,” said Jon Edvald, CEO and co-founder of Garden. “We’ve lived this scenario, and our survey spotlights the heavy fiscal and emotional impact this is having on companies and their tech teams across the board. Developers are already under immense pressure to build and ship faster. As applications get more complex and distributed, tech teams need to ensure their workflows and tools are keeping pace, and that they do not allow this ‘productivity debt’ to spiral out of control.”

Lost Time on Tedious Tasks Slows Innovation and Ability to do Strategic Work
More than seven in 10 (76%) of respondents say the time they spend on specific tasks—like the provisioning and management of dev/testing environments and creating, updating and maintaining Continuous Integration (CI) pipelines—is time wasted and could be put to more strategic use.

  • 49% of these respondents say they would spend this time developing new products and services to support the company
  • 46% would improve speed and delivery of existing products and services
  • 44% would improve security for existing products and services

On average, respondents spend more than 15 hours every week on tasks outside of writing application code or tests, including:

  • Writing and maintaining internal tooling (3.2 hours/week)
  • Setting up, maintaining and debugging pipelines/automation (3.2 hours/week)
  • Waiting for pipelines (i.e. Continuous Integration (CI)) to run (2.6 hours/week)
  • Waiting for builds and tests (outside of Continuous Integration (CI) pipelines) (3.1 hours/week)
  • Setting up dev environments (3.5 hours/week)

Respondents at organizations not yet using Kubernetes spend an average 14.3 hours per week on these tasks, as compared with 16.5 hours a week for those who are already using Kubernetes, which spotlights the hidden productivity debt that may occur when organizations adopt new technologies.

Frustration in DevOps and Development Teams
Most respondents face frustrations in their job, with common causes relating to both organization structure and processes, and the development process itself. The top three frustration-inducing tasks are:

  • Waiting for pipelines to run (76%)
  • Waiting for builds and tests (74%)
  • Setting up, maintaining and debugging pipelines/automation (71%)

In fact, only 11% of all respondents are completely happy with their development setups and workflows and think they’re operating as well as they could be —and only 2% of non-managers are completely happy with their development setups. Non-managers are nearly twice as likely as managers to say there's "noticeable room for improvement" in their development setups and workflows.

The combination of frustrations and low happiness with tools and workflows will likely impact overall job satisfaction for in-demand talent, making it harder for organizations to retain key employees.

Kubernetes Usage and Challenges
The survey found almost universal enterprise adoption of Kubernetes: 62% of organizations are already using Kubernetes, and 31% are currently trying it out or evaluating the technology. Only 3% of organizations aren’t using any container orchestration tools at all. But as technologies like Kubernetes—and the complexity they entail—become more closely intertwined with application development, developers are being increasingly pulled into operational work outside of their area of expertise. Ninety-five percent of organizations using Kubernetes have faced challenges after rolling it out. Among the most common of these ”day two” challenges are training and onboarding (37%) or complexity of setup/configuration (35%).

Funding the Promise of DevOps
There is still a long way to go before enterprises can reach DevOps nirvana, that magical place where developers no longer waste hours every week on low-value work and development workflows are free of frustration. Therefore it comes as no surprise that 83% percent of organizations are planning to hire more staff or increase their use of freelancers/outsourcing into DevOps roles in 2021, and 75% of respondents say their DevOps budgets have increased or will increase compared to 2020. COVID-19 has led to an increase in tool use in almost all organizations (95%) with 43% increasing their use of remote development tools.

To view the full report, please click here.
To view the Garden blog post on the report, please click here.

About the Survey
Garden engaged Vanson Bourne to field a survey of 400 developers and DevOps team members in the U.S. and Europe, including: CTOs, VPs and head of departments, director/managers and non-managerial respondents. The survey was fielded in January-February 2021, with respondents coming from a range of industries, including business and professional services; financial services; IT, technology and telecoms; manufacturing and production; and retail, distribution and transport. Vanson Bourne rigorously screened interview candidates to ensure suitability and data quality.

About Garden
Garden is a development automation platform for cloud native applications. Based on an open source core, Garden provides developers with on-demand, production-like Kubernetes environments with powerful workflows for in-cluster development, efficient integration testing, QA and code reviews and more. Fortune 500 companies and other organizations with complex software systems trust Garden to keep their development teams focused so they can ship better tested and higher quality software, and to do so faster than ever before.

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About Vanson Bourne
Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector. Their reputation for robust and credible research-based analysis is founded upon rigorous research principles and their ability to seek the opinions of senior decision makers across technical and business functions, in all business sectors and all major markets.

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