Software teams spend one day a week, and more, troubleshooting code issues

Unfortunately, a good deal of IT time is spent firefighting, survey shows. DevOps to the rescue?
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

The most frustrating challenge of running an IT shop is people spend more time firefighting than doing all the good stuff, such as trying out new technologies or solving business problems. Recent data bears out this out, with two out of three software developers estimating they spend at least a day per week troubleshooting issues in their code, and close to one-third spending even more time than that -- anywhere from two days to a full week. Worse yet, many are responding to issues reported by end-users. 

Photo: Michael Krigsman

The survey of 600 software professionals, released by OverOps, finds as a result of frequent critical production errors, development teams are spending a considerable amount of time troubleshooting code-related issues. Sixty-nine percent spend at least a day per week troubleshooting issues in code, and 30 percent spend more time than that per week.

Production issues also pop up frequently. More than half (53%) indicated they encounter critical or customer-impacting issues in production at least one or more times a month. One-quarter also said that over 40% of critical production issues are first reported by end users or customers rather than internal mechanisms.

Blame the frenetic pace of software delivery that now takes place. More than half of respondents (59%) said they release new code or features anywhere from bi-weekly to multiple times a day, while only 19 percent follow a quarterly or less frequent cadence.   

It is hoped that DevOps methodologies and associated automation are helping to alleviate the situation. In this survey, 58 percent report moving to DevOps approaches. Another 45 percent are adopting containers and microservices to add flexibility and encourage reuse of code. AIOps -- or AI for IT Operations -- is still only seen at a handful of sites at this time, but is a trend that bears watching.

Actions Taken to Alleviate Production Code Issues

  • DevOps (i.e. pipeline automation) 58%
  • Microservices/Containers 45%
  • Static Code Analysis 37%
  • Dynamic Code Analysis 28%
  • Observability 21%
  • Site Reliability Engineering 18%
  • None - we aren't looking to adopt anything new this year 14%
  • AIOps 10%
  • Chaos Engineering 8%

Organizations are moving faster than ever: continuous integration (54%) and continuous delivery (42%), both hallmarks of accelerated software delivery pipelines, were among the top three areas of DevOps investment for survey respondents. Forty-five percent said that pressure to move fast was one of their top software quality challenges. 

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