Deploying software every day is... actually... OK – what devs tell their real-life friends

But does running Win2003 make you a high-performer?

“High-performing organisations” which have employed agile and devops methodologies are decisively pulling away from their fuddy-duddy peers in the number of software deployments they can manage.

But while the idea of deploying software 200 times more frequently than low performing companies might fill some developers with dread, such organisations are also nicer places for techies to work, according to the latest State of DevOps report.

The report, which, unsurprisingly, is produced by automation vendor Puppet and sponsored by a raft of other vendors that can charitably be viewed as having a stake in DevOps, surveyed 4,600 tech pros. They found that those “high performing companies” typically spent much less time fixing mistakes, and had more time for fun stuff. Well, “innovation” at least.

To put that into context, high performers are those doing multiple deploys a day. Medium performers between once and month and once a week. Low performers are those achieving a deployment between once a month and once every six months. Put very crudely, the high performers are typically working using some kind of agile/continuous integration/devops type methodology.

“We found that high-performing teams spend the least amount of time on unplanned work and rework (21 percent),” the researchers said. “As a result, they are able to spend 49 per cent of their time on new work, such as new features that can add value to the business.

“By contrast, we found that low performers spend less time on rework than medium performers (27 per cent vs. 32 per cent, respectively) and more time on new work (38 per cent vs. 34 per cent, respectively). One possible explanation is that low performers ignore critical rework so they can push new features, but it’s highly likely this is at the expense of racking up technical debt.”

Interestingly the rate of failure for the high performers was up to 15 per cent, while for the lower performers, it was 16 to 30 per cent. For medium performers it was 31 to 45 per cent.

Crucially – if you like to retain staff – workers in higher performing teams were 2.2 times more likely to recommend their organisation was “a great place to work” – even to an actual friend.

The authors provided a handy formula for working out potential cost savings. But the bottom line was that a small, low-performing organisation with 250 staff could save $6.7m a year through eliminating excess rework. A large organisation with 40,000 staff stood to recoup $1.1bn.

Enterprise Linux variants were running at 3,159 respondents, with Debian/Ubuntu variants popping up at 2,016. Windows 2012 was in use at 2,446, Windows 2008 at 2,017, while Windows 2003 was running at 763 organisations. There was no indication whether those organisations running a 13-year-old operating system were high, medium or low performers. ®


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