Developers Are the Enterprise Kingmakers, but Monotony Coding Is Killing Innovation

Stack Overflow survey reveals developers are seen as drivers of innovation, but are investing time and energy in the wrong places to provide competitive advantages

New York City, NY– January 31, 2018 – New research has revealed that while 68% of developers agree “developers are the new kingmakers,” many believe their companies are losing competitive advantage because they don’t have a deep understanding of the technical realities and opportunities developers face. In today’s software-driven world, organizations with productive developers can innovate faster and solve complex business problems that previously went unanswered. But without an appreciation of the nuances of the role, it’s easy for companies to see their developers get sucked into non-productive work that fails to create value for the larger organization.

MongoDB Inc., (Nasdaq: MDB), the general purpose database platform, worked with Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers, to survey more than 1,000 developers worldwide to uncover some of the key challenges and opportunities they are facing.

"Today every company is starting to realize that whatever line of business they're in, they're really a software company,” said Joel Splosky, CEO, Stack Overflow. “Given that software is created by developers, it's obvious to see why developers are so important."

According to a Forrester 2018 predictions report, digital transformation will continue to dominate business strategy in 2018, with CEOs looking to their CIOs to act as strategic partners in leading that process.1 However, a fundamental issue that will need to be addressed to ensure successful innovation is a better understanding of the role that developers play within an organization.

In fact, 56% of respondents to the Stack Overflow survey believe that developers are the main drivers of innovation within organizations today, over executive management (30%), marketing (7%) and sales (7%). However, the research revealed three main challenges associated with developers’ working lives that are hampering this innovation:

Maintenance and monotony are killing enterprise innovation:

  1. 41% of a developer’s workday goes towards upkeep of infrastructure, instead of innovation or bringing new products to market. In addition, a fifth of their time (20%) is spent in meetings or doing administrative tasks.
  2. The current job demands are heavy: 58% of developers work more than eight hours a day, 32% work weekends and 23% fail to take their full allotted vacation days.
  3. Developer’s dilemma: Users now expect applications to feature integrations with third-party services – like Twilio, Google, Facebook, etc. -– but the backend coding process is tedious, often taking away from creating the front-end user experience that truly defines an application; 41% of a developer’s time building a new application is spent connecting the backend, such as managed services.

“Every business is turning to software for a competitive edge but these findings show a disconnect still exists between businesses and developers about the best approach,” said Eliot Horowitz, CTO and cofounder at MongoDB. “Developers drive innovation, bring new products to market and keep business agile, but only when they can devote their time to rapid iteration. If the technologies they are provided with are hindering their productivity and creating a large maintenance burden, developers are left coding with one hand behind their back.”

The cloud is one particular area that developers are finding a boost as most see consuming technology as a service as a multiplier for their productivity. Cloud-focused findings from the research include:

  • Cloud wars: When it comes to migrating services to the cloud, nearly half of developers surveyed (43%) said they currently use cloud services and had expansion plans. Nearly half of developers surveyed (42%) say security regulations at their company are the main barrier to furthering cloud adoption within the organization, with Amazon Web Services (39%) leading Microsoft Azure (19%) and Google Cloud Platform (13%) when it comes to where most companies host in the Stack Overflow community.
  • Cost and productivity benefits of cloud-hosted database-as-a-service well understood: Well over half (60%) of developers surveyed fully understand the cost benefits of cloud-hosted database-as-a-service in that you pay for what you use. Half (50%) noted that database-as-a-service results in increased developer productivity and a faster time to market.

Methodology Commissioned through Stack Overflow consulting. Study of 1,027 developers in the US, UK, India, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Italy and Germany. The study was carried out in summer 2017.

About Stack Overflow Stack Overflow is the largest, most trusted online developer community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. More than 50 million professional and aspiring programmers visit Stack Overflow each month to help solve coding problems, develop new skills, and find job opportunities.

Founded in 2008, Stack Overflow partners with businesses to help them understand, hire, engage, and enable the world's developers. To learn more about Stack Overflow's business solutions - technical recruiting, advertising, market research, and enterprise knowledge sharing visit

About MongoDB MongoDB is the leading modern, general purpose database platform, designed to unleash the power of software and data for developers and the applications they build. Headquartered in New York, MongoDB has more than 4,900 customers in over 90 countries. The MongoDB database platform has been downloaded over 30 million times and there have been more than 730,000 MongoDB University registrations.