There are a few aspects of software development that most people would rather not spend time on. Refactoring. Writing unit tests. Finding bugs. Updating dependencies. It seems obvious that developers would be happier and more productive if they didn’t have to worry about these tasks. 

This suspicion was confirmed in our recent developer survey. The responses collected from 300 developers in the US and UK suggested they want to introduce more automation to speed up the manual tasks they don’t enjoy, and appreciate it when their companies help them do so.

82% of the developers we surveyed agreed that they would rather spend their time on creative tasks, like developing new product features, than on repetitive ones. When asked which tasks they would most like to see automated, the top two responses were debugging (selected by 73%) and software testing including writing unit tests (selected by 70%). 66% of the study participants agreed that unit test setup is mundane, and 39% wish they didn’t have to write unit tests at all.

Developers want to work at companies that value their time

So why do team leaders hesitate to introduce automation? In many cases, it’s caused by the mistaken belief that their team won’t want to learn how to use and integrate new tools, which is often not true: Almost all of our respondents (84%) agreed that their organization’s willingness to adopt new technology is important to job satisfaction. Basically, developers want to work at companies that value their time and skills.

Automating everything is a key part of continuous integration, and in addition to making day-to-day work more engaging, it’s necessary for improving the quality of the code your team produces as businesses scale. 

Does your team have the right tools?

As the most recent Accelerate State of DevOps report concluded, productivity goes up when teams pick their tools themselves. Giving teams access to the automation tools they want to use shows them that their work is valued, and lets them focus on creative problem-solving. 

Read about Goldman Sachs’ experience with introducing more advanced automation.