ZenHub Unveils 2022 State of Disruptive Software Teams Report

Tools that help deliver developer happiness, improve remote collaboration, and enable workflow automation are top priorities for driving productivity in high-growth organizations

ZenHub, the leading productivity management solution for software teams, today released the results of its 2022 State of Disruptive Software Teams industry survey. This survey of hundreds of software professionals is designed to provide insight into the technologies, tooling needs, and organizational priorities at high-growth companies. One overarching theme is deep interest in empowering teams with developer-friendly tools, processes, and environments that enable time spent meaningfully on coding and other core technical activities, thereby driving productivity and innovation.

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The report highlights a growing need for project management tools that improve coordination and collaboration for remote and asynchronous teams, while also reducing time spent in meetings and providing status updates.

“Today’s software teams, particularly those at startups, care deeply about innovating as quickly as possible, as they seek to change the status quo,” said Thabang Mashologu, ZenHub’s VP, Marketing. “In keeping with that overarching theme, product and team leaders must compete for developer talent by creating conditions in which increasingly remote teams can asynchronously collaborate on work that delivers impact and an edge for their business. Certainly, the dynamic has changed for most organizations, and team productivity tools need to reflect that reality.”

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The findings are based on a survey completed by 262 executives, team leads, project managers, developers, and other key decision makers at organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees. The survey was conducted between October 19, 2021 through November 21, 2021. Some of the key findings for this report include:

  • Automation is key – Automation should be viewed as essential to increasing developer happiness and productivity. 45% of respondents prioritize the need to automate tedious tasks; while 41% see time spent meaningfully as critical to developer happiness and productivity
  • Developers want exposure to the latest technologies – 28% see artificial intelligence as the most exciting tech trend.
  • While Agile is still on top, methodologies vary – It’s clear that disruptive leaders care about results, not methodologies. While Agile leads the way (25%) as the top methodology, startup project and team leads are far from purists.
  • Open source is critical – 83% of respondents see open source software as “Very” or “Somewhat” important to their team’s success.
  • Keeping teams aligned and productive is the top priority – Respondents in all roles, including executives, senior managers, and practitioners, chose increased productivity/time spent meaningfully as their top priority.

In addition to these key findings, the report also includes recommendations to help product leaders and executives at high-growth companies provide a developer team environment that leads to innovation and creative disruption. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Prioritize automation to increase productivity. Developers are most happy and productive when they can focus on meaningful work. While you may be more resource constrained than the competition, you can move more quickly and give your team an edge by using tools and processes that automate routine tasks. This will keep your team focused on productive work that leads to real innovation.
  • Enable cross-team visibility and collaboration. Building software is a multi-team sport. The tools you use have a huge impact on the success of the entire organization. Select tools that break down information silos, are flexible enough to be used across teams, and can scale as you grow.
  • Provide context and eliminate confusion. Providing context to developers helps them gain clarity around team and organizational objectives to fast-track productivity. The right tools can eliminate confusion around expectations, while also aligning your team towards a shared vision and common goals.
  • Maximize your open source returns by giving back. Open source software is the great equalizer as it gives disruptive startups the ability to compete head on with established players. What many entrepreneurial organizations overlook is the opportunity to enhance their standing in the developer community through active participation in open source projects. Contributing to open source is a great way to enhance your company’s credibility and attract top talent, as software engineers care deeply about and live in these communities.

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