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Nearly Half of a Developer's Week is Spent on Technical Debt and Bad Code

Stripe and Harris Poll surveyed thousands of C-level executives and developers across 30+ industries to find out how businesses are leveraging developer talent and how they can find ways to improve. 

Nearly Half of a Developer's Week is Spent on Technical Debt and Bad Code

Perhaps the biggest discovery in the survey was finding that developers spend over 17 hours every week dealing with technical debt and maintenance issues like debugging and refactoring, and about a quarter of that time is spent fixing bad code. That comes out to nearly $300B in lost productivity every year. This just shows that it doesn't come down to the number of developers on your team - it's how you're using their talent.

Survey highlights:

  • When asked about the biggest threats to their business, the top three answers from c-level executives were security/data breach, increased regulation, and tech disruption. Access to developer talent was also high on the list, with more votes than access to capital.
  • If their talent is used efficiently, developers have the collective potential to raise global GDP by $3 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • On average, executives believe developers are only 68% productive - mainly due to maintenance of technical debt and the prioritization of projects given to them by leadership.
  • The top three tech trends that companies say have the biggest impact on their business today are AI, IoT, and SDS.
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