5 in 6 developers churn out code faster than ever before

Five in every six developers are this year releasing code faster than ever before following a tumultuous 2020 that served as a a catalyst for DevOps maturation, results from GitLab’s fifth annual DevSecOps survey show.

The survey of nearly 4,300 respondents from around the world found DevOps teams dramatically increased the pace of technology adoption which allowed them to take larger steps toward DevSecOps, increased release speeds and advanced automation.

“Teams worldwide worked to streamline development cycles and deliver faster release time than ever before, all while adjusting to remote work and shifting priorities to meet the high demands of last year,” said Eric Johnson, CTO at GitLab. “We believe we will see improvements in testing as more teams adopt tools to automate the parts of DevSecOps that have continuously caused cycles to slow down.”

The COVID-19 pandemic enforced the broad adoption of remote work, which in turn energized teams to focus on embracing cutting edge DevOps technologies such as Kubernetes, machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI) and cloud computing. 

Among respondents, 75% said their DevOps teams are either using or planning to use ML/AI for testing and code review, up 41% from 2020’s survey. 

A majority (55%) of operations teams report their life cycles were either completely or mostly automated. For contrast, in 2020, just 8% of teams claimed full automation.

Operations teams have reshifted priorities to address the new software industry landscape shaped by the events of 2020, with 56% of operations professionals now reporting their first priority is managing cloud services.

This year, 84% of developers said they’re releasing code faster than ever before. This increase in release speed is due to the addition of tools like source code management and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). 

Nearly 12% of respondents said adding a DevOps platform has sped up the process. Overall, 57% of respondents reported code is released twice as fast — a big increase from last year’s 35% — and 19% said code gets released 10 times faster.

Even with faster release times, security testing remains a sticking point for DevOps members. Over 42% of respondents felt it’s happening too late in the process, and nearly the same percentage said it was a struggle to unpack, process, and fix vulnerabilities. Almost 37% said tracking the status of the bug fixes was challenging, and 33% found remediation prioritization difficult. 

While teams are showing signs of moving towards DevSecOps, the research indicates that firms still struggle with determining who is in charge of security. Almost 31% reported they (security) were fully responsible for it, but almost 28% said everyone was responsible. This response is similar to last year’s, and underscores the need for clarity on this subject.