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Software Reliability a Key Concern During 2021, Haystack Analytics Review Finds

  • Increasingly Competitive: Haystack Analytics publishes review into the state of software development during 2021. Data from multiple sources shows that the software delivery performance is increasingly competitive.
  • Software Reliability Concerns:  Haystack/Survation study shows a majority of developers are concerned about software reliability at their workplace. Industry report by Google found that only 10% of “elite” performing engineering teams are fully implementing reliability engineering practices.
  • Psychological Safety is Essential: Multiple research reports are converging on the importance of psychological safety to address developer burnout and software reliability.

Software Reliability a Key Concern During 2021, Haystack Analytics Review Finds

San Francisco & London; 30 September 2021 - Engineering productivity company Haystack Analytics has today published a review¹ into software development industry performance in 2021. The review investigated benchmarks and common trends between multiple industry reports, finding that software development is becoming an increasingly competitive field with the proportion of “high” and “elite” performing teams growing, whilst the proportion of “low” performing teams has dropped.

The report also found growing concern about software reliability. One study conducted jointly by Haystack Analytics and Survation found that 57% of software engineers agreed “to a great extent” or “to a moderate extent” with the phrase "Software reliability at my workplace concerns me”. The review also points to another report produced by Google’s DORA team showing that even amongst engineering teams considered to be “elite” performers, only 10% fully implemented the Site Reliability Engineering practices they investigated.

As more of our day-to-day lives become dependent on technology and as software plays a growing role in critical national infrastructure, it is important to understand how such challenges can be addressed.

The review found that multiple studies and industry best practice have converged on the idea that psychological safety is essential to addressing issues of software reliability. The review highlighted research that found that low performing teams were 2.2 times more likely to have a culture that discourages risk than their high performing counterparts. Another study found that teams which excel at modern operational practices were also 1.8 times more likely to report better business outcomes.

The report’s author, computer scientist Junade Ali, said: “The results are clear - psychological safety is paramount to preventing burnout, delivering better business outcomes and improving software reliability. The ability to balance the competing forces of risk and reward are an essential skill in engineering, empowering engineers to use their professional judgement with psychological safety is vital to addressing the issues we currently face in software reliability. For businesses to grow, engineers must be able to take calculated risks, using their professional judgement. No risk, no reward.”

Ali continued: “Messengers should not fear getting shot and success through calculated risks should be rewarded. Feedback should be taken, not just given. Defensive cultures, where leaders cannot admit to their mistakes or the limits of their knowledge, should serve as a red flag to engineers going through the recruitment process. Strong engineering leaders have the humility to accept their own humanity.”


¹ EngProd 2021: A Review on the State of Developer Productivity

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.

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