The State of Engineering Productivity in 2024 πŸ“Š

1) Hybrid is hard

Teams who work in hybrid mode have the hardest time.

It is tough to create an environment where the playing field is level for everybody: there is less incentive to build a truly remote-friendly environment than in full-remote teams, while at the same time you don’t get the full benefits of co-location.

Committing decisively to one of the two extremes might bring better results in terms of productivity β€” but of course it can be more challenging in other departments.

2) Productivity is mostly enabled by clarity and focus time

The recipe for good productivity looks surprisingly simple, and it stays the same whatever your role and work setup:

  • Good clarity β€” I know what is the most important thing I should do.
  • Plenty of focus time β€” I have the space and time to go after it.

These look like simple items, but you only achieve them when you have taken care of everything else: context switch, meetings, collaboration, etc.

The degree to which engineers and managers suffer from this is also different:

  • Engineers suffer more from lack of focus time β†’ they largely know what they should do, but would like less interruptions and more room to do it.
  • Managers suffer more from lack of clarity β†’ they feel more productive in the sense that they do many things, but they are unsure if these are the right ones. They pedal fast, but in an unclear direction.

So, while for most engineers the direction is clear, but they would like to pedal faster, managers feel like they pedal fast already, but in a questionable direction.

3) Engineering metrics are early and feel like an opportunity.

Only 35% of the respondents use engineering metrics on their teams, but a strong majority (60%) look at them as an opportunity. This sentiment is shared equally by all the surveyed roles.

Also, more than 50% of teams who use them do so via custom tracking or by using the tools they already use (Jira, Github). Both setups are limited with respect to what you can achieve with dedicated tools, so there are likely strong margins for improvement.