GitHub's State of the Octoverse survey shows devs are still swerving the office

Coding JS in your PJs here to stay


Developers, like many other tech professionals, are still opting to work at home even though they way they perform some of those functions has returned to pre-pandemic norms.

This is according to GitHub' annual State of the Octoverse survey, based on telemetry from more than 4m repositories and thousands of developer polls.

While for many areas it was business as normal, with little change in the geographical locations of users, the survey highlights a shift in workplace as developers made the psychological move from hoping that things may revert to how they were to accepting the realities of the pandemic.

Respondents who were in the office either full or part-time dropped from 42 per cent before the pandemic to a mere 10.7 per cent now, and hybrid working jumped from 28.1 per cent to 47.6 per cent. Those fully remote also went up, from 26.5 per cent to a whopping 38.8 per cent.

That's a lot of empty desks.

However, the survey also flagged up a number of other interesting statistics related to developers' daily workload. Pull requests are being merged almost twice as fast at work when compared to open source. Those work pull requests were also merged 25 per cent slower than 2020, and much closer to 2019 levels. A sign, said GitHub, "that work rhythm is returning to pre-pandemic levels."

The data also shows that the majority of pull requests are closed within the first two weeks, with those for work development closed within the first few days. Unsurprisingly, keeping the review count down increases the chances of a speedy merge; GitHub reckoned that each additional reviewer dropped the chances of merging in a day by 17 per cent.

Fans of the ctrl-c, ctrl-v combo will be delighted to note that GitHub found that when code reuse was made "frictionless" at work, developer's performance increased by up to 87 per cent. Open source projects also saw up to a doubling of performance if slow processes and multiple approval layers around code reuse were made more efficient.

It's all splendid stuff; there were more than 16m new users in 2021 and over 61m new repositories created in the last year. The top ten table of languages was also little changed as C and Shell swapped places, ending up in 9th and 8th position respectively. JavaScript continued to rule the roost.

However, for all the statistics that developers and managers can study to improve productivity and processes, one was notably missing. What to do when your CEO forks himself and decides it is time to spend more time with Age of Empires 4? ®

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