Software

Why developers and DevOps pros spend most of their days troubleshooting

Time spent troubleshooting takes away from business and career growth activities, according to a SolarWinds survey.

Developers, DevOps practitioners, and web product managers (WPM) spend the majority of their days troubleshooting app issues, to the detriment of business and career growth, according to a Wednesday report from SolarWinds.

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Of the 336 IT professionals surveyed, 48% said troubleshooting app issues was a top three task completed each day. The amount of time spent varied by position, the survey found: Developers ranked troubleshooting second in the top three at 52%, behind writing/cleaning up code (58%) and before testing (36%). DevOps professionals ranked it the top task, at 53%, and WPMs ranked it the third top task at 39%, behind planning/strategizing future technology innovations (54%) and managing end-user experience (46%).

SEE: Job description: DevOps engineer (Tech Pro Research)

Important activities like building product roadmaps, deploying new applications, and strategizing future innovations with business leaders did not make the top three for the majority of these professionals, the survey found. This places increased pressure of tech professionals to find time to do these tasks, and contradicts the ideals of DevOps, it noted.

"Today's technology professionals play an unquestioned role in driving innovation for their businesses. Application development and the end user's experience are inextricable from business growth," Joe Kim, executive vice president and global chief technology officer of SolarWinds, said in a press release. "Yet this survey of DevOps, WPMs and developers shows this push towards innovation is minimized in favor of reactive troubleshooting tasks, which are growing due to the need for comprehensive monitoring and visibility into these applications."

The tech professionals surveyed also rated troubleshooting as one of their most disliked job activities, despite it being a top daily task. IT workers also said they would leave their current jobs if there is no room for advancement, or if the work becomes too repetitive or boring, which is concerning given the amount of troubleshooting and lack of business and career growth tasks in current roles, the survey found.

Companies can consider leveraging vendor solutions to help with daily troubleshooting tasks, and also look into ways to keep employees from quitting. In the meantime, tech professionals can check out this TechRepublic article for 10 mistakes to avoid when troubleshooting IT problems.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 48% of developers, DevOps practitioners, and WPMs said troubleshooting app issues was a top three task completed each day. — SolarWinds, 2019
  • More important activities like building product roadmaps, deploying new applications, and strategizing future innovations with business leaders did not make the top three daily tasks for the majority of IT professionals. — SolarWinds, 2019

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About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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