Most people don’t know I grew up in Brooklyn. Not the gentrified one with gourmet mayonnaise stores, but the one more reminiscent of James Buchanan High School. So when the Wu-Tang Clan released the song C.R.E.A.M. in 1993, it spoke to me. As a street kid, we thought the world revolved around the almighty “dollar dollar bill, y’all”.

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Normally I write posts for this blog weekly. However I wanted to wait for the release of the 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey to see what they had to say. The first thing that jumped out was SRE’s and DevOps are now making all the Benjamins.

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How much? They are making $140K and $122K respectively on average in the US. The numbers are lower when averaged across the globe, but still net out at $85K and $71K respectively.

It should not be a surprise, it is the market and the law of supply and demand at work. When I speak with IT leaders, they consistently ask whether Stack Overflow can help them find DevOps and data scientist roles. And no big revelation, data science roles are fourth and fifth on the list of highest paid roles. It’s good to be a gangsta…I mean a highly skilled developer with marketable tech skills.

The second thing that piqued my interest was the response to productivity. The biggest challenges identified by the survey were “Distracting work environment” followed by “Meetings”. These are the time sinkholes dragging down developer effectiveness and efficiency. They are flow killers.

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Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, but most developers I speak with put the blame squarely on open office environments. For developers, the open office is open season on getting pinged by co-workers with questions throughout the day. If it happens once or twice, no big deal. The interruptions add up though, and when dealing with complex problem solving tasks, it can take up to 15 minutes for developer to get back into their flow.

The last section that caught my eye was how much time Stack Overflow saved developers. From the survey:

Combined with the previous results, we can estimate that, conservatively, Stack Overflow saves 30 to 90 minutes of time per developer per week.

Having 90 minutes of time back in a week does not seem like much. But that is 90 minutes more coding, 90 minutes to spend with family, 90 minutes to cook a good meal, or 90 minutes to catch up on sleep. When you consider that over 50 million people visit Stack Overflow every month, the site is helping people save up to 162,500,000 days to do something other than struggle in vain for an answer to their coding questions.

But enough about what I think of the survey results. You should check it out for yourself to see what insights are valuable for you. It’s the single most comprehensive developer survey around with the combined results of 90,000 developers around the world.

What would you do if you saved an extra 90 minutes per week at work? What is the most interesting finding from the survey for you?

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Is there any reason not to eat food that’s been
dropped on the surface of the moon?

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Thoughts on developers, digital transformation, enterprise agility, community building & software engineering culture. Author 👉 https://twitter.com/marksbirch

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