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Developers Waste Time On Fixing Bad Code, Stripe Finds

C-level executives have told Stripe that they are more concerned about a lack of qualified software developers and programmers more than they are about a lack of access to finance. But according to Stripe’s latest report, “The Developer Coefficient,” businesses may be mismanaging the developer talent they already have in-place.

Companies are losing significant amounts of money as their developer staff members are forced to focus on non-strategic parts of the enterprise, researchers found. On average, software developers spend more than 17 hours every week on maintenance issues like de-bugging software.

One-quarter of that time is spent on fixing bad code, resulting in a combined $85 billion lost every year, Stripe said, using average developer salaries to calculate the figure.

These professionals are aware that their talent could be put to better use, too. According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of developers said they agree that time spent fixing code is excessive, and they “believe that clear prioritization, responsibilities and long-term product goals would improve their own productivity.”

Businesses that use their existing developers effectively have the potential to raise global GDP by $3 trillion over the next decade, Stripe calculated.

With an estimated 18 million developers in the global workforce today, professionals struggle to add to their existing developer staff levels. This issue will increase as more executives brace for technological disruption, with issues like cybersecurity a key concern for professionals — and an area of expertise for developers.

“Senior executives feel the threat of tech industry competitors most acutely, which is why they’re prioritizing investments in infrastructure, R&D and recruiting over the next five years,” Stripe concluded in its report.

Both executives and developers alike agree that technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and APIs will be top disruptors today, while machine learning, virtual assistants and blockchain will have the greatest impacts over the next decade.

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