New research from GitLab reveals developers’ power over the tools they use in everyday work and a shift towards tools that enable collaboration, offer a hybrid development framework and address the need for secure coding. The global survey of 362 startup and enterprise CTOs, developers and DevOps professionals reveals that access to the latest development tools is a top priority for the vast majority (81 percent) of developers and 36 percent of developers would go so far as to reject a job if they did not use the latest and greatest tools.
"Software development is rapidly changing and as this survey demonstrates, there is no ‘one tool fits all’ for modern developers as they adapt the way they work,” said Sid Sijbrandij, CEO and co-founder of GitLab. “While process-driven development techniques have been successful in the past, developers are searching for a more natural evolution of software development that fosters collaboration and information sharing across the lifecycle of a project.”
Developers Love Git
When looking at the tools and techniques that are most important to developers, 92 percent say distributed version control systems (Git repositories) are very or extremely important for their everyday work followed by continuous integration (77 percent), chat/collaboration tools (63 percent), agile development (59 percent) and continuous delivery (55 percent). Seventy nine percent of respondents note increased collaboration with teammates is the biggest benefit to using Git. Furthermore, 59 percent believe Git enables them to work remotely and still be as efficient as they would be in a traditional office setting. Other key benefits Git provides:
- Increased accessibility (44 percent)
- Code building confidence (31 percent)
- Improved deployment speeds (30 percent)
- Dependability (27 percent)
Despite the numerous benefits and importance of Git implementations within organizations, 40 percent of developers revealed the learning curve was their biggest concern when choosing to implement Git.
What Devs Really Want (and Don’t Want)
More developers (55 percent) are gaining the power to choose the tools they work with, and most have wholeheartedly embraced open source: 98 percent use open source tools at work, with 56 percent revealing that more than half of their development tools are open source, and 18 percent use only open source tools. In addition to developers love for open source, consistency is important for developers as 91 percent prefer to use the same development tools for work and personal projects.
The survey also revealed:
- Digital communication is preferred by most:
- Sixty six percent prefer to be contacted via email or instant message, not in person.
- Language preferences vary widely:
- Hybrid methodologies are preferred:
- Thirty three percent prefer a combined methodology for development, while only 2 percent still use Waterfall, 26 percent still use Scrum and 18 percent use Agile.
- Advice from non-programmers is not welcomed:
- Twenty five percent say they’d rather go a day without a cell phone or listen to Nickleback (23 percent) instead of getting direction from a non-programmer.
Security's Double Edged Sword
Eighty six percent of respondents say security is important or extremely important to them when developing code, yet 81 percent report releasing code before it’s ready. The need to hit their deadline (59 percent), pressure from senior management (38 percent), and team turnover (19 percent) are cited as the top three reasons why they release too soon.
However, 39 percent of developers have identified innersourcing, the sharing of code across an organization, as a method for uncovering security issues they hadn’t seen before. Additionally, innersourcing saves 34 percent of respondents three plus hours of time on a given project and improves team dynamics for development teams.
Modern Development Tools are a Must
When analyzing the shift in developer preferences, the overwhelming desire for a more open and collaborative approach to software development is extremely apparent. This approach is quickly becoming known as Conversational Development (ConvDev), a seamless process of accelerating the development lifecycle by threading a conversation through every step of the development process. This allows developers to move faster from idea to production.