This year's Embarcadero's Application Developer Trends survey found that application developers rate a lack of time for work projects and poor unit and system testing as their two top challenges
The company's survey touched a total of 606 respondents, who came from a mixture of developers, architects, and analysts. When asked to identify the three biggest project challenges they face as developers, 52% complained of not having enough time to accomplish assigned work tasks, 31% called out poor unit and system testing and 30% complained of insufficient or a complete lack of requirements.
Also rating high on the list of challenges were deficient planning, slow tools and technologies and scope creep. Communication was one project element that didn’t seem to be broken, with very few pointing to it as a problem area.
According to Embarcadero, "One commonality was how developers say they spend their time on the job. Coding ranked highest, with more than 37% of respondents saying it takes up the most time in their day. Designing, analyzing and debugging were also mentioned frequently."
On the face it, the company's survey appears to be insightful. Tougher productivity goals, with less manpower, over a shorter timeframe are characteristic scenarios in development shops everywhere today. Embarcadero product manager for Delphi Solutions Michael Rozlog suggest that this leads to a vicious circle for developers trying to skill up on emerging mobile and 64-bit technologies.
Unfortunately, the increased time pressure also prevents many developers from learning new skills and programming languages -- a fact that could spell trouble for companies as more and more new technologies filter into the market, said Rozlog.