Are developers held accountable for code quality?
CAST, a leader in software analysis and measurement, today announced the findings from its global developer survey, debunking common stereotypes about modern developers and their attitude towards code quality. The study reveals potential reasons for poor software quality that puts businesses at risk, including little accountability for bad code and little understanding of system architecture.
The report, which analyzed the responses of 500 developers across 4 countries, blows away the preconceptions of many who assume developers are most attracted by startups, are most productive at night and understand their code integrates with the system’s architecture.
Structurally sound software is a pillar of digital transformation strategies, and developers’ motivation to write quality code represents an important factor for organizations whose success depends on it, particularly early adopters in Financial Services and Retail. However, the report reveals the use of current quality standards leaves much to be desired. The study found:
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Pride in craftsmanship and innovative work are primary motivators
- A fifth of developers (20%) report pride in their work is the prime motivator, while 17% report innovative work is the prime motivator. Code quality standards are far behind with only 8%.
Over a third of developers are not held accountable for poor code quality
- More than a third (37%) of developers are not graded on code quality.
- In France, this figure goes up to 45%, compared to 39% for Germany and the UK and 27% for the US.
The full system architecture is not understood
- Only half (54%) of developers stated they fully understand their system’s architecture.
- Surprisingly, only 5% of developers believe their entire team understands their system’s architecture.
Coding tips and tricks – Stack Overflow and GitHub are not the preferred destinations
- At 41%, YouTube is the first go-to place for developers to learn new programming tricks, followed by Google Communities (36%) and Microsoft Virtual Academy (36%).
- Turning to their manager for advice is also not an option for 81% of respondents.
- Surprisingly low, only 17% of developers go to Stack Overflow or GitHub for help.
Google is the dream job
- Over 60% prefer Google, only 9% of developers think the ideal workplace is at a startup, 11% for FinTechs.
Importance of salary varies by country
- When looking for a job, US coders are the most motivated by money (62%) compared to 25% of French coders.
“Despite the regularity of IT outages caused by software, our survey findings indicate developers are not being held accountable for application stability,” said Dr. Bill Curtis, SVP and Chief Scientist at CAST Research Labs. “One takeaway for IT managers is clear: elevate the importance of architectural and coding standards, and hold developers accountable for the quality of their code.”
A copy of the full report can be downloaded here.