Software developers were very productive through the Covid crisis, which is no surprise to software developers

Survey shows dev team productivity has held up very well through the crisis. Credit the fact that many developers have been working remotely for decades.

The productivity of most software development teams actually went up during the Covid crisis, a new survey shows. But if you're a software developer, you know that's the way things work. Work disruptions and budget cuts aside, software can be built, tested and deployed from anyplace in the world. 

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Photo: Michael Krigsman

And through the crisis, software team productivity held up very well, thank you. The survey of 347 IT managers, conducted by Accelerated Strategies Group (ASG) for CloudBees, finds a majority, 59 percent, said their software teams "are significantly or somewhat more productive" than pre-crisis, and 43 percent say it has become somewhat easier to complete their work tasks in a timely fashion. 

The ASG data showed that software teams are working more closely with product management, project management, operations and security.  In addition, 61 percent of IT managers found it easier to work across time zones, with 40 percent indicating it is easier to work with staffers on different continents and 37 percent of respondents noted that it was easier to leverage "gig" or flexible part-time staffers to accomplish goals.

This probably comes as no surprise to seasoned software professionals. It should also be noted that much of the world's best and most highly used software, in fact, was produced and distributed by 100%-virtual organizations -- the open-source communities. And these worldwide organizations of remote, online developers have been at it for almost three decades for everything from operating systems to enterprise ERP solutions. In fact, these organizations have operated completely remotely and virtually from day one. 

In this age of telework (does anyone use that term anymore?) and working from home, does it even matter anymore where companies are physically located? The most sophisticated applications, such as AI, are software/data/network-intensive work, and don't require someone at a desk on-premises. An AI pro in Indonesia can do just as good of a job as one in California, for sure.

The ASG survey also shows a majority of enterprises (63%) stepped up their digital transformation efforts. Other priorities, including business automation (62%) and the need for investment in creating contactless services (60%) have increased.

The ASG survey also showed shifting priorities that arose as a result of the Covid-19 conditions. A majority of IT managers, 52 percent, say they increased their focus on DevOps initiatives. Another 52 percent increased their progress on migration to cloud service providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform). Teamwork has also prevailed through the crisis, with 46 percent stating they are using cross-functional teams, 56 percent practicing daily stand-up meetings. Forty-three percent have also stepped up their automation of tasks.