To gain deeper insights into how new AI tools and existing workflows impact the overall developer experience, GitHub partnered with Wakefield Research to survey 500 developers from enterprise companies across the US.
GitHub’s goal was to identify the barriers developers face. For example, the survey found that developers spend most of their time waiting for code reviews, builds, and tests, which negatively impacts their productivity and overall developer experience.
Using the research’s findings, organisations can explore ways to empower their engineering teams to drive innovation in this new era of software development.
Current performance metrics fall short
The survey revealed a misalignment between the performance metrics commonly used to evaluate developers and their expectations.
Developers value learning new skills, solving novel problems, and collaborating with others. However, they often find themselves spending a significant amount of time waiting for code reviews, builds, and tests.
85 percent of developers believe that current performance metrics do not adequately measure their true value, as they often prioritise output quantity and efficiency over code quality and collaboration.
Collaboration as the cornerstone
Collaboration emerged as a cornerstone of the developer experience. Developers reported working with an average of 21 other engineers on projects, and they expressed a strong desire for collaboration to be a prominent performance metric.
Effective collaboration encompasses regular touchpoints, uninterrupted work time, access to fully configured development environments, and mentor-mentee relationships. Developers view collaboration as essential to code quality, team productivity, and overall success.
92 percent of respondents emphasised the need for collaboration to be a prominent performance metric.
Harnessing the power of AI
The survey highlighted the widespread adoption of AI coding tools, with 92 percent of developers already utilising them at work or in their personal time.
Developers anticipate that AI will enhance their performance by offering advantages such as upskilling opportunities and increased productivity.
Upskilling is a top priority for developers, with 84 percent expressing a desire to enhance their skills and knowledge, making the integration of AI tools a promising opportunity for growth.
The path forward
To improve the developer experience, organisations and engineering leaders should realign performance metrics with developers’ priorities. Code quality, collaboration, and communication should be given equal weight alongside output quantity and efficiency.
Regular touchpoints, heads-down time, access to fully configured development environments, and mentorship programs are crucial elements in fostering effective collaboration.
Additionally, businesses should embrace enterprise-grade AI coding tools and establish governance standards to ensure ethical and effective use.
By addressing the barriers developers face, organisations can empower their engineering teams to excel. Collaboration, productivity, and the strategic integration of AI coding tools are key elements in creating a positive and impactful developer experience.
As the technological landscape continues to evolve, it is imperative to invest in a developer experience that fosters growth, efficiency, and satisfaction, ultimately leading to exceptional software solutions.
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