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CircleCI’s 2022 State of Software Delivery Reveals Team Structure, DevOps Culture as Leading Indicators of High Performing Engineering Teams

Report findings uncover the global pandemic’s impact on developer life, along with performance benchmarks of today’s engineering teams

CircleCI, the leading continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) platform, today unveiled the 2022 State of Software Delivery Report.

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“One of the most important ways to improve an organization’s application development efficiency is to systematically understand which behaviors are beneficial and which lead to inefficiencies”

Examining two years of data from more than a quarter billion workflows and nearly 50,000 organizations around the world on the CircleCI platform, the report represents the largest analysis of developer productivity data and provides new insight into the DevOps practices being leveraged by elite software teams.

“At CircleCI, we’re uniquely positioned to examine how software is developed, which enables us to define what success looks like and provide benchmarks that help companies improve their value to delivery,” said Jim Rose, CEO, CircleCI. “Understanding how to stay competitive with increased velocity and quality is a challenge for most engineering teams today. This report is their go-to guide for navigating today’s complex software development landscape.”

The 2022 State of Software Delivery Report shows that the most successful engineering teams routinely meet four key benchmarks. By hitting these benchmarks, high achieving teams are getting the maximum value from their software delivery pipelines:

  • Workflow Durations are between five to ten minutes on average
  • Recovery from any failed run is fixed or reverted in under an hour
  • Success Rates are above 90% for the default branch of their application
  • They deploy as often as their business requires and at least 1+ times per day

Teams at companies like Axios and Bolt have seen tremendous improvements by implementing CircleCI and the 2022 State of Software Delivery Report benchmarks.

Roopak Venkatakrishnan, Engineering Manager, Bolt said, “The net effect of our optimized pipelines is not only fewer master breaks and triple the tests, but much faster builds. What used to take as long as two hours now takes about 30 minutes without increasing resources. We’re able to ship more reliable code without the overhead.”

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“It doesn’t matter if it’s part of the website or part of Axios HQ – with CircleCI, we can deploy everything in the exact same fashion, and be certain that we’re using our standardized processes across the board,” said Nicholas Duffy, Engineering Manager, Infrastructure, Axios.

Other key report findings include:

  • Holiday season downtime carries more risk to a business than the first year of covid. By setting up a robust test suite, you can confidently rely on your tooling no matter the time of year, allowing teams to thrive and innovate even when team members are out of office.
  • Prioritizing an optimal team structure is key to success. The peak time of work on the CircleCI platform is done between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. PT (9 a.m. and 10 a.m. ET) on Wednesdays, meaning that’s when most developers are online building software. Simple tweaks to your day-to-day, like ensuring meetings don’t conflict with peak productivity hours, can significantly benefit your team and your business’s bottom line.
  • Team size does not dictate performance, testing does. Teams that prioritize test-driven development (TDD) can confidently rely on their tooling during market swings, seasonal fluctuations, and times of uncertainty (like the pandemic). TDD is how you compete, no matter team size.
  • Aim for 10-minute pipelines. The goal is not DevOps maturity alone, it’s also product maturity. Achieving high performance and product maturity are only possible with code that is well-tested in the cloud, and that means your pipelines will take longer to complete. The three most elite open source projects on CircleCI have durations between 10 and 11 minutes.

“One of the most important ways to improve an organization’s application development efficiency is to systematically understand which behaviors are beneficial and which lead to inefficiencies,” said Stephen O’Grady, Principal Analyst, RedMonk. “By analyzing years of data across tens of thousands of organizations, CircleCI is doing just that.

Methodology: The 2022 State of Software Delivery explores data from more than 250 million workflows from nearly 50,000 organizations in 100 countries. The data analyzed was collected between December 1, 2019 and September 30, 2021.

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