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What's Getting in the Way of Developer Efficiency?

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In 2024...

Engineering teams are facing similar (and significant) challenges–regardless of their size or structure. And with the added economic pressure that every industry is feeling, development teams are all being asked to:
  • Do more with less
  • Improve performance across teams
  • Focus on initiatives that help boost the bottom line
Making marked improvements to engineering teams and their habits isn’t as easy as waving a magic wand or demanding that devs type faster. The stats on the realities of the software development industry outlined below showcase just how tall of an order that is.

26 Million (<1%)

Software developers in the global labor pool of 3.32B
This is an EXTREMELY precious resource given how much of daily life is powered by software. And it’s only getting more precious because...

The global developer shortage is expected to increase from 1.4M to 4.0M by 2025

But being shorthanded isn’t the only barrier to developer efficiency. The REAL problem is a matter of team dynamic, process, and technology.
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Scaling Developer Efficiency

Using metrics & automation to execute your R&D strategy in a down market
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Team Dynamics

Too many meetings, too much context switching, and a lack of focus time are the biggest barriers to productivity, value delivery, and meeting stated goals. Developer efficiency suffers when developers are doing things OTHER than coding. Developer efficiency is high when developers are out of meetings, able to think and focus, and have better tools to automate processes. Regardless of size and structure, only an average 18% of teams are considered “healthy,” meaning well-defined roles, clear goals and strategies, coordination in and outside the team, and transparent data and decision making.
Nearly of an engineer’s time is spent in meetings
76% of engineering managers say focus time leads to more revenue
80% of engineering leaders believe focus time helps with project completion velocity
90% of leaders believe more focus time makes the team more productive
57% of respondents say their team “isn’t running as efficiently as it should”

Engineering Practices

Even with modern methodologies, tooling, and best practices for engineering, there are significant challenges to delivering value and being productive at work. 70% of DevOps teams release code continuously (at least daily), but there are a lot of hurdles to clear.
Nearly half of all teams practice DevOps
of teams use some kind of Agile framework
40% of devs spend ¼ to ½ of their time on toolchain integration (not building or optimizing features)
36% of teams cite rework, unplanned work, changes, unplanned problems as their biggest challenges
34% say they their main challenge is unclear direction and lack of visibility with what they’re building
23% say that they have unrealistic deadlines... further exacerbating the problem
Communication is the biggest productivity and value delivery barrier for scaling teams. A team of 3 has 3 possible communication paths. A team of 17 has 136.

The Development Process

Even without general engineering challenges or team collaboration inefficiencies, development teams still face a significant bottleneck in terms of efficiency: the development process itself. Here’s what’s getting in the way of moving work through the pipeline quickly and easily.
Cycle time doubles when PRs go from 100 lines of code to 200 lines of code
Half of all PRs are idle for 50% of their lifecycle
Without automation, PRs are picked up 50% slower - leading to longer cycles
Tech debt (from bad code quality & big PRs) wastes 23-42% of a developers time
Half of all teams have 1 member who does 60% of the reviews
Automation saves teams nearly 30 min of idle time per PR
The average cycle time for a given piece of work is 7 days
Teams with automation moved 130K more PRs through the pipeline over the last year

Solving These All-Too-Common Problems

LinearB makes it easier for you to address these issues by providing development teams:
Visibility into pipelines
Insight into process bottlenecks
Data-backed OKR and goal setting
Automated workflows & PR routing
Simplified project investment reporting & alignment
Contextualized metrics like DORA, planning accuracy & more

Start Improving Developer Efficiency

With LinearB, your teams can focus on developing the next killer app and delivering more value—not spend their time stuck in meetings, delivering status updates, pinging colleagues for review requests, or toiling away in PM tools.
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