Harness Survey Surfaces Raft of DevOps Challenges

A survey of 500 software engineering leaders (38%) and practitioners finds nearly half reporting they can’t release code to production without risking failures, with 39% noting their code fails to push to production at least half the time.

Conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Harness, a provider of a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform, the survey also finds that when code does need to be rolled back more than two-thirds resort to manual processes.

Overall, 60% of respondents also noted they are still releasing code on a monthly or quarterly basis. A full 59% of developers said application security requirements limit their ability to release code frequently.

Nick Durkin, Field CTO for Harness, said one of the primary reasons that security remains a bottleneck is mainly because too much responsibility for it has been shifted left toward developers, versus relying on DevSecOps platforms infused with artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify and resolve issues in a way that empowers everyone involved in software development.

In general, AI should be used to eliminate toil such as creating and running tests as part of a larger effort to eliminate the need to babysit tools and platforms, added Durkin.

For example, 42% of the practitioners surveyed said deploying code isn’t fast or efficient, with 44% noting that testing code end-to-end isn’t efficient. More than two-thirds (67%) said they need to wait a week to completely test code and, even then, 32% said there isn’t high unit test coverage.

More than half (52%) of the developers surveyed attributed burnout as a primary reason their peers left their jobs, with just under a quarter (23%) working overtime for at least 10 days a month. A full 97% said they regularly switch contexts between on average 14 different tools.

Well over half (54%) reported it takes longer than a week to learn a new tool. A full 59% said it takes a week to build internal tooling. More than a quarter (28%) said it takes a day to build an artifact.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of developers have also experienced scope creep as requirements expand, which makes them less confident to execute.

Report Finds Onboarding New Hires Takes Too Much Time

New hires don’t seem to provide any immediate relief either, because onboarding them takes an average of 100 days, according to 71% of respondents.

Additionally, 40% of developers said their organization doesn’t enforce good security and governance policies. A total of 41% don’t have automated security and governance policies, while 42% said they don’t have robust identity and access management policies.

A full 62% of the executives surveyed said they would prefer to address these issues by adopting an integrated DevOps platform but the rate at which that transition is occurring is unclear. Many organizations have invested heavily in legacy DevOps platforms that they are often reluctant to rip and replace. In many cases, organizations are transitioning to a modern DevOps platform for new application development projects while continuing to employ legacy platforms to update existing applications.

Very few would argue that software development workflows are optimal. The challenge is determining how best to move forward from where most organizations are today, in a way that minimizes as much disruption as possible at a time when organizations have never been more dependent on software.

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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