Almost half of developers skip writing tests, survey reveals

A surprisingly large amount of developers have admitted to skipping writing tests so they can speed up new feature developments, a recent report has found.

42% of respondents confessed to cutting corners when it comes to developing products due to the pressure felt in producing quality software, quickly.

The research, from Diffblue conducted by Vanson Bourne suggests that manual effort alone is not enough to deal with expectations. 40% of developers sited both manual processes and unrealistic schedules to be a contributing factor to poor software quality. This suggests that organisations need to provide better support for their development teams.

Achieving unrealistic goals

“Code coverage” targets are often set for developers. However, the study showed that despite 90% of developers agreeing that unit tests improve software quality, with a further 95% saying they also speed up code maintenance, developers only have the opportunity to spend 35% of their time writing tests and 20% of their time writing unit tests. Adding to this, 48% admitted finding it hard to achieve the unit testing goals set by their firms.

73% of developers in the UK believe they will be happier in their jobs if the right tools, especially tools that automate repetitive manual tasks, were introduced to teams.

84% agree that adopting new technologies like AI will help with job satisfaction with 87% believing creating realistic targets will help make work easier. Both these points can be addressed by providing the right tools.

Asking for failure?

Mathew Lodge, Diffblue CEO responds to the findings by saying: “Asking development teams to deliver world-class software without providing the right support is asking for them to fail and become disengaged. Creating quality code shouldn’t depend on developers writing hundreds or thousands of unintuitive, uninteresting tests. When robotic tasks can be assigned to machines, they should be—not only to retain a more satisfied and effective workforce in a time when top talent can be hard to find, but also to improve the quality of the code they create.”

“Unit tests are part of a virtuous circle. Once your organization has a critical mass of them, everything else from code maintenance to bug fixing (and even the creation of new unit tests as needed) is easier. But getting enough tests in the first place is a hurdle most organisations can’t overcome manually. Hopefully, tech managers will see the challenges their developers might be facing and invest in the supporting tools their teams need.”

 

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