Happy Developers Are a Competitive Advantage
From the 2020 DevOps community survey, findings indictate that developers who are satisfied in their workplace are more productive and competitive.
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Are your developers happy?
It’s no secret that the foundation of modern business is software. But who made your software, and are they having a good day? This isn’t a “warm and fuzzy” question. Our seventh annual 2020 DevSecOps Community Survey reveals stone-cold evidence that happy developers are better for business.
We surveyed 5,045 developers across 102 countries. Their answers revealed compelling evidence that happier developers work on teams with mature DevSecOps practices. Happy developers are nearly twice as likely to:
say they like their job (1.5x more likely)
get work done (1.3x more likely)
encourage friends to come work with them (1.6x more likely)
Happy Developers Show Higher Job Satisfaction
Our research shows that happy developers share concrete behaviors. One is the use of automated governance tools. Mature DevOps teams demonstrate 1.6x higher job satisfaction rates compared to their immature peers. Furthermore, mature teams are 2.2x more likely to invest in container security, 2.1x more likely to invest in Dynamic Analysis Security Testing (DAST), and 1.9x more likely to invest in Software Composition Analysis (SCA).
Similarly, happier developers are more productive. Ninety-two percent (92%) of developers in mature DevOps practices said they were able to get their work done. By comparison, sixty-nine (69%) of developers working in teams with immature DevOps practices agreed.
Happy Developers Develop More Secure Software
Thirty-five (35%) of mature DevSecOps practices prioritize security as a top concern. By contrast, only 14% of companies with immature practices do the same. That’s a 2.4x difference.
Further, happy developers were 3.6x less likely to neglect security when it came to code quality. For example, happier developers are 1.3x more likely to follow open source software policies, thereby keeping their code more secure. Forty-four (44%) of mature DevOps practices automate open source software governance, while only 31% of immature practices do.
Happy Developers Encourage Talent Acquisition and Retention
Our survey shows that happy employees are 1.8x more likely to recommend their employer to friends looking for employment. Word-of-mouth recruiting is very effective. It may even help recruit more diversity into teams, according to a study by Organization Science.
Attracting and retaining technical talent is an ongoing challenge for many businesses. Reducing turnover strengthens customer experience, improves employee morale, and ensures fewer costs. Employers paid more than $600 billion in turnover costs in 2018 according to a report by the Work Institute. They also waited an average of 42 days to fill an “average” position, according to a report by SHRM. Anyone hiring technical talent knows there is fierce competition in the marketplace and has probably experienced longer timelines to fill key positions.
Happy Employees are a Competitive Advantage
Businesses know that employee mood affects motivation and outcomes. For example, an Oxford study shows happy employees are 13% more productive than unhappy counterparts. A joint study (.pdf) from the University of California, Riverside and University of Missouri, Columbia documents multiple, multi-year advantages for happy employees and their employers. Ongoing studies in psychology confirm that the benefits of workplace happiness include better health, longer lives, and competitive edge in the marketplace (infographic, .pdf).
Engaged employees show up every day with passion, purpose, and enthusiasm. They also boost the bottom line. Companies with a majority of sunny attitudes add 21% more profitability to their company’s bottom line, according to consultant Nez Behshet. “This finding by Gallup punctuates the fact that employee engagement consists of concrete behavior, not an abstract feeling,” she writes.
The world of software development is no different. Happy developers work more efficiently, build more secure software, and recruit talented peers to your business. All of these outcomes are invaluable. Happiness is a worthy business investment.
To learn more about the data on happy developers, review the 2020 DevSecOps Community Survey.
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