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2022

Software Developer Happiness Report

We surveyed 380 developers around the world, and we’re sharing what we learned about what makes them happy, productive, and fulfilled at work.

We’ve summarized some of the key survey findings here, but be sure to check out the full report, which includes over 70 pages of data, insights, and recommendations.

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Who is this report for?

  • Product leaders, such as product owners and product managers
  • Technical leaders, such as engineering managers and CTOs
  • Software developers
  • HR and people & culture leaders in tech industries
Status check

Hello developers, how are you doing?

The last couple of years have been challenging for nearly everyone, and developers were no exception. They had to suddenly work from home, and learn to communicate and collaborate in new ways — all while trying to keep code output and quality levels high and maintain a reasonable work-life balance. It’s quite the juggling act.

Now, as developers and their employers look to return to some kind of new normal, it’s time to check in to find out which tools, technologies, and work environments developers need and want, and what will encourage them to stick with your company. This report also explores how to avoid your developers ‘quiet quitting’ by creating a positive, happy dev culture.

To get these insights, we surveyed 380 developers in March of 2022. Everyone who responded is experienced with tools that automate workflows and improve developer productivity. And they all work for companies with 500 or fewer people.

Let’s get started. Find out:

  • What we mean by developer happiness
  • How satisfied developers are with their current work situation
  • How work-life balance influences job-hunt decisions
  • Which factors slow developer productivity most
  • What can help reduce delays for developers
  • How developers want to spend their time
  • How developers prefer to communicate
  • Which company perks are most appealing to developers
  • Which factors influence developers’ decision to stay at a company
  • Which work environments developers prefer

Developer happiness directly contributes to company success

We define developer happiness as the feelings of satisfaction, contentment, or joy that people have about their work. It’s also the sense of well-being software developers have based on the quality of their professional relationships, work environment, tools, and processes.

Happy developers are productive developers. They spend more time coding software to ship great products, and they’re more likely to keep working for your company.

Many factors contribute to developer happiness, including:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Work-life balance
  • Project quality
  • Good pay, health benefits, and perks
  • Work locations

Our survey takes a deep dive into these key areas.

Developer happiness

Where are we at?

When we asked developers to tell us how satisfied they are with their jobs, the majority were mostly satisfied, but just 31% said they were extremely satisfied.

A number of factors contribute to developers’ satisfaction with their current jobs, including education, managerial responsibilities, and team size. For example:

38% of developers with advanced degrees are extremely satisfied with their jobs compared to 25% of everybody else.

Although developers and development managers are equally likely to be extremely satisfied with their jobs, managers are twice as likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs

Staying power

What it takes

The factors that influence developers’ decision to stick with your company are a bit different depending on the number of years they’ve worked as a software developer.

While both groups are influenced by project quality and work-life balance, these factors are important to a higher percentage of more experienced developers. From a financial perspective, less experienced developers are looking for a clear salary and raise structure, while senior developers are looking for good pay.

WORK ENVIRONMENT

Flexibility is key

At this point, almost all developers have experienced some kind of remote work arrangement. And a majority believe that working remotely helps their productivity:

Around 60% of developers feel they’re most productive when working in a full-time or part-time remote arrangement

But flexibility is crucial as 41% of developers feel they’re most productive when working entirely in the office.

Work-life balance

It’s important to get it right

Good work-life balance often keeps developers with their current employer, but poor work-life balance will accelerate the hunt for another job.

Work-life balance is particularly important to more experienced developers, and it’s an important area to focus on because:

71% of developers haven’t decided how long they’ll stay with their current employer

33% of developers have stayed in a job longer than they normally would have due to the pandemic

Productivity blockers

Changing requirements and waiting for feedback

Several factors are hindering developer productivity, but the top two are: keeping up with changing requirements from management and time spent waiting for feedback.

Becoming blocked when waiting for feedback common and can be costly:

74% of developers experience delays while waiting for feedback

When developers are delayed receiving feedback, nearly 70% lose at least three hours of time

Reducing delays

Tools are key

When we asked developers who don’t experience delays why that is, they identified tools as the top reason. And 93% of developers agreed that using a productivity tool improves the quality of their collaboration.

Meetings

Less is more

Developers spend most of their time designing, coding, and debugging, and they’d like to spend even more of their time on these tasks instead of in meetings and on administrative tasks.

When developers told us how they spend their time in a typical work week compared to how they’d like to spend it, time spent attending meetings was the biggest discrepancy.

Communications

Online please

Today, 70% of developers are back to working in the office, even if only part-time, but they still prefer digital interactions to in-person communications — perhaps due to the digital nature of their work.

Developers also like a combination of formal team meetings and informal conversations. While these responses seem contradictory, they do cover the different levels of formality developers typically experience in their jobs.

Perks

Swag doesn’t cut it

When it comes to benefits and perks, fitness, remote work, and transportation benefits are the most likely to influence developer happiness.

Gift cards are also a pretty good option, but company swag and free snacks don’t make a significant impact.

The insights we’ve provided here are just a small snapshot of the key findings and data available in our complete 2022 Software Developer Happiness Report. Reviewing the full data set is a great way to get even more insight into how you can create a software team environment that encourages developer happiness and productivity.

The complete report also goes beyond data to connect the dots and help focus your attention on the areas that are most likely to significantly improve developer happiness.


The full report includes:

Over 70 pages of real-world data and graphs on developer preferences, happiness, and productivity
Recommendations for upper management
Recommendations for developers

Dig deep into what developers want and how you can help them get it.