If You Build It (Fast), They Will Come

Despite the growth of Agile software development and a focus on ensuring software is released faster, a recent IncrediBuild survey reveals that organisations are spending significant time on long, complex software builds.

Developers Waste $23,000 (£14,600) Annually While Waiting for Software to Build

According to the survey, respondents reported running software builds at least five times daily. An astonishing 22 per cent reported running over twenty builds a day, with a full rebuild taking an average of between 34 and 134 minutes.

The survey revealed that developers spend a minimum of two hours a day waiting for their software to build. At an average cost of $45 (£28) per hour for a software developer in the United States, and 261 annual workdays, this totals roughly 522 wasted hours of a developer’s work year, costing over $23,000 (£14,600) per developer per year.

Software builds are not the only slowdown. Tests, code analysis, QA scripts, and other development processes are also a major burden, according to the survey.

The Real Costs of Long Builds

For a company, a developer’s wasted time impacts the bottom line. Instead of waiting for builds, these wasted hours could be spent beefing up the product’s features, fixing bugs or creating better algorithms. Imagine what you would do if you and your team had an extra two hours a day?

Speeding up development allows development teams to be more productive. Companies with faster builds have a competitive advantage and ability to be more agile, allowing them to release innovative software more frequently.

Long build times, however, can be avoided. Build acceleration solutions help with shorter delivery rates and a decrease in error rates. For example, after using IncrediBuild, a software acceleration solution, developers reported that the average time for a full rebuild was reduced to between 13 and 40 minutes (compared to 34 to 134 minutes prior). More than 10 per cent of respondents reported that their build time declined from 1-5 hours to less than 30 minutes. This allows developers to be much more productive and with fewer interruptions - it requires no changes to software code or workflow - enables companies to do what they do best, which is to develop great software.

“We couldn’t remain competitive if we couldn’t run fast. If we didn’t have that quick integration cycle, our progress would be too slow; we wouldn’t be able to innovate and deliver,” reported Chris Preston, Principal Software Engineer at GeoTeric, a UK-based software company specialising in geologic visualisation.

Because wasted time doesn’t show up in P&L statements, the issue has long been ignored. Development complexity has increased and business push companies to release earlier and more frequently than ever. Companies should not only invest time in creating an amazing product, but also invest in making sure that their development processes are efficient and put the ‘agile’ back into their Agile development.

Eyal Maor is CEO of IncrediBuild, a leading provider of software acceleration technology.