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Developer Productivity Report 2013 – How Engineering Tools & Practices Impact Software Quality & Delivery
The effect of tools on predictability (only tools with 10%+ popular shown)
Probably one of the coolest parts of this analysis is that we were able to connect specific tools with predictability of releases. In general, we didn’t see many significant trends, however it would seem that if you pick a CI server, go for Bamboo or Jenkins over TeamCity.
In the main competitors for the Version Control space, Git clearly takes out Subversion once again. Users of Confluence show a positive trend in the area of predictability, and JRebel, that time-saving tool we’ve heard about before, shows a statistically significant increase of 8% in predictability of software delivery.
*Note: In order to maintain objectivity, we didn’t originally include JRebel in the list of tools. However, we couldn’t help ourselves and matched the emails provided by 47% of all respondents against our client list. We identified that one-third of respondents with an email address use JRebel (two-thirds don’t) and used their data for comparison. The results were too cool to omit :)
Tool usage by Rock Stars (Top 10%) compared to All Respondents
As our final analysis, we wanted to see what the rock stars of this group are using for tools. As a reminder, rock stars are respondents in the top 10% for both predictability and quality of software delivery. By seeing what these geek gurus are using in terms of specific, we might be able to figure out what we can do to improve. We only choose those tools that had a large enough base of users to serve for analysis:
In terms of statistically-significant figures, we can only really say that the rock stars of this sample population vouches for Jenkins and doesn’t like Google Drive very much (we have firsthand experience of the diminishing return of a bazillion Google Docs!).
Other trends represented include a definite move towards Git over Subversion, a preference for Google Hangouts over Skype conversations. Atlassian products are hit or miss here as well–where Confluence is preferred by the Rockstar group, JIRA is shunned and Bamboo comes in with no discernable change.
Summary of Main Takeaways
- Tool type usage – Some people still aren’t using IDEs or Version Control, however the all-powerful text editor dropped to below 50% usage.
- Increase in predictability of release per tool type – The biggest winners are Version Control and IDEs, but predictability increases with the use of Code Quality Analysis, Continuous Integration, Issue Tracker, Profiler and IaaS tools
- VCS popularity – The domination of Subversion (58%) is being threatened by Git (47%) for de facto leadership of the Version Control space. Mercurial seems to be losing ground to Git as well.
- CI popularity – Jenkins (56%) remains firmly in the leading position, followed by Bamboo (10%) and TeamCity (8%).
- Issue Tracker popularity – This space is effectively controlled by JIRA (57%) as the most used tool, but it’s interesting to see GitHub (21%) at #2.
- Communication tools popularity – Skype (39%) is the most used communication tool, but Confluence (30%), the tool for software companies, is #2. Google Docs, Google Hangout and Google+ comprise the rest of the top 5.
- How specific tools affect release predictability – In CI, take Jenkins or Bamboo over TeamCity, in VCS select Git over Subversion, and use tools like Confluence and JRebel.
What the rock stars do differently from the average respondent – The only trends to speak of here are that this group likes Jenkins (a lot!), doesn’t like Google Drive, prefers Git over Subversion and Google Hangout over Skype.
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