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83% of Developers Suffer From Burnout, Haystack Analytics Study Finds

  • Burnout: Study finds 83% of software developers feel burnout from work. 
  • COVID-19 impact:  81% of software developers reported an increase in burnout as a result of the pandemic, with increased workload cited as the main reason.
  • Productivity: Study also finds 83% of developers are concerned about software reliability at their workplace.

83% of Developers Suffer From Burnout, Haystack Analytics Study Finds

San Francisco & London; 12th July 2021 - Technology has played a key role in our society, especially during the pandemic, but little is understood about the engineers who build the software that powers the modern world. A new study¹ has found that 83% of software developers suffer from workplace burnout. The top reasons cited for burnout included high workload (47%), inefficient process (31%) alongside unclear goals and targets (29%).

Engineering productivity business Haystack Analytics co-ordinated the study which found burnout has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 81% of developers reporting increased burnout due to the pandemic. The top reason cited by developers for greater feelings of burnout during the pandemic was increased workload. The study also finds that 83% of developers are concerned about software reliability at their workplace, of which 20% are concerned to a great extent.

Leading the research exercise, computer scientist Junade Ali said: “Whether allowing us to stay connected or building vaccine booking systems, software developers have played a key role during the pandemic. The results show that developer burnout is far worse than I imagined when I designed this study. Given the ever-greater role software plays in society and the high rate of concern developers have for software reliability in their workplaces, this raises serious concerns about the quality of software that plays an integral role in our everyday lives and critical national infrastructure.”

Technology continues to drive high-growth companies. For example; technology-focussed Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust has grown 151.37% over a 3 year period as of the 1st July 2021, the highest 3-year performance of any FTSE 100 company.

The importance of well-being is underscored by the number of developers needed to sustain the fast-growing technology industry. Statistica finds² there are around 408,000 software developers in the UK alone. By 2024, Statistica estimates³ the global population of software developers will grow to 28.7 million.

Commenting on the study, Kathryn Koehler, Director of Developer Productivity at Netflix said: “This is a good set of questions”. Koehler said the results showed that “you can’t capture the productivity of a team in one metric”, and it was important to measure team well-being alongside productivity metrics.

Koehler went on to talk about how Netflix was starting to develop their own approach to measuring developer productivity internally by “starting small, but starting on something that is impactful; and then not stopping there - continuing to think about productivity, satisfaction and the other stuff in context.”


¹ Study to understand the impact of COVID-19 on Software Engineers - Full Report - The study fieldwork was conducted by research agency Survation on behalf of Haystack Analytics (in June 2021). Survation is an accredited member of the Market Research Society and the British Polling Council.

² Numbers of programmers and software developers in the United Kingdom (UK) 2011-2020

³ Number of software developers worldwide in 2018, 2019, 2023 and 2024

Note to Editors

For further information please contact the Haystack Analytics press office: Bilal Mahmood on or +44 (0) 20 3640 7759 and +44 (0) 771 400 7257.

About Haystack Analytics 

Haystack was founded in 2020 by Julian Colin and Kan Yilmaz for tech teams to learn more about roadblocks to their work, improve productivity and importantly identify burnout issues with developers. Haystack helps build elite developer teams by providing engineering metrics and alerts proven to drive performance, improve software reliability and prevent developer burnout. 

Through their integration with GitHub, Haystack is able to provide live data insights that illustrate the entire delivery process from commit to deploy, being able to highlight bottlenecks like code review and team productivity. Using this feedback loop, Haystack users have increased production deployments by 58% and achieved 70% faster cycle times on average.

In less than 12 months since launch, Haystack is being used by more than 7,000 developers at elite developer teams in GoDaddy, Microsoft, The Economist, Indiegogo and Truebill among others as revenues have increased by an average of 36% month on month.

In June 2021, Haystack announced it had secured a US$1.2m funding round after graduating from Y Combinator’s W21 batch.

To explore Haystack, please visit: or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Also, you can watch our videos on YouTube.

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