Under Pressure: Developers Struggle With Dependencies, Security

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Under Pressure: Developers Struggle With Dependencies, Security

While developers are under constant pressure to produce new projects, very few get to spend more than one-half of their day doing any actual programming, according to a recent survey from ActiveState. The resulting “Developer Survey 2018” report reveals that these professionals are frequently saddled with duties that require them to manage dependencies. They also struggle to stay up-to-date with the latest and most secure versions of packages used, as well as stability, i.e., attempting to ensure that new releases perform the same as the old ones. More than 1,400 global developers and IT pros took part in the research. This slide show presents survey highlights, with charts provided courtesy of ActiveState.

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Project Productivity on a Steady Roll

More than three of five respondents said they start a new software project at least once a quarter. And 13 percent do so no less than once a week, if not daily.

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Developers Need More Time for Programming

Just over one-half of respondents said they spend—at most—only four hours of their day programming. Less than one in five said they spend at least eight hours of their day doing this.

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Dependencies, Development Tool Management Dominate Daily Duties

Three-quarters of respondents said they spend at least part of their time managing dependencies and development tools, if not “all” or “most” of their time. Only one-quarter said they “almost never” do this.

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Issues Frequently Stall Efforts

More than seven of 10 respondents said they encounter issues when building a library or package at least “part” of the time, if not all or most of the time. Less than three of 10 said they “almost never” encounter this.

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Developers Highly Challenged When Adding Languages

When asked to rank their biggest challenges, 56 percent of respondents listed “adding a language.” Nearly one-quarter cited dependencies.

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Security, Stability Bring Significant Struggles

One-half of respondents admit that they struggle with security issues, in attempting to stay up-to-date with the latest/most secure version of packages used. Nearly as many said they struggle with stability, in trying to build new releases that behave the same as the old ones.

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Replicating Environments Is to No Small Feat

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they also find it difficult to replicate environments. Just over three of five said they encounter difficulties in getting information about package quality—including details about security, activity and updates.

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Sharing Environments Remains an Onerous Task

Three of five respondents said they find it difficult to share an environment configuration. Forty-two percent said the same about getting information about package licenses.

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Linux Leads Programming Platforms

Linux is the most popular programming platform, used by 80 percent of respondents. Nearly as many respondents—77 percent—use Windows, while one-half use macOS.

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By committing to DevOps and agile practices while investing in microservices and application programming interfaces, companies are likelier to reap the rewards of higher profits and successfully achieve key performance indicators.
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