Developers - getting away with it - and Googling it when advice needed

News by SC Staff

81 percent of software developers avoiding asking their manager for advice. For 41 percent, YouTube is the first go-to place for developers to learn new programming tricks.

Why does our software need so much patching in the first place?   It could possibly be influenced by the fact that the cliché of low interpersonal skills appears to be true, with 81 percent avoiding asking their manager for advice.  For 41 percent, YouTube is the first go-to place for developers to learn new programming tricks.

But their managers aren't much better, with only one in three developers being graded on their code quality, whereas two out of three developers said they are not held accountable for poorly written code or operational problems such as outages and security breaches.

These conclusions come from a CAST survey of 500 developers across the US, UK, Germany and France which sought to uncover developer behaviours, ambitions and the reasons behind poor software quality that puts businesses at risk. This was based on the premise that developers' motivation to write quality code represents an important factor for organisations whose success depends on it, particularly early adopters in financial services and retail.

These motivations did vary by country, with US coders the most motivated by money (62 percent) when looking for a new job, compared to 25 percent of French coders.  But across the group, a fifth of developers (20 percent) reported pride in their work as the prime motivator, while 17 percent report innovative work is the prime motivator, whereas achieving code quality standards lagged at eight percent.

More than a third (37 percent) of developers reported that they are not graded on code quality, a figure which goes up to 45 percent in France, compared to 39 percent for Germany and the UK and ‘just' 27 percent in the US.

How surprising is it that only half (54 percent) of developers stated they fully understand their system's architecture, or that a total of just five percent of developers believe their entire team understands their system's architecture?

Java and JavaScript were seen as the most important languages to master in the next five years by more than half of respondents (56 percent), followed by C++ (38 percent), Python (35 percent) and SQL (30 percent).

At 41 percent, YouTube is the first go-to place for developers to learn new programming tricks, followed by Google Communities (36 percent) and Microsoft Virtual Academy (36 percent).  In contrast, turning to managers for advice was not an option for 81 percent of respondents and a relatively low only 17 percent of developers go to Stack Overflow or GitHub for help.

Dr. Bill Curtis, SVP and Chief Scientist at CAST Research Labs concluded that: “Despite the regularity of IT outages caused by software, our survey findings indicate developers are not being held accountable for application stability. 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.”

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