Developers: ‘Don’t interrupt us if you want better collaboration’

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Software developers have said that having time blocked out in their workday to complete work in solitude would lead to greater collaboration throughout their teams.

A GitHub survey of more than 500 developers at US-based organizations found that implementing this daily process will give developers the “time and space to write code and work towards team goals”. 

It concluded that providing designated periods to focus on work without distractions or disruptive activities would foster a stronger collaborative environment due to the “holistic view of collaboration”. 

“It’s defined not only by talking and meeting with others, but also by uninterrupted work time, access to fully configured developer environments, and formal mentor-mentee relationships,” the report said. 

What does effective collaboration look like for devs?

In its survey, GitHub found that developers work with an average of 21 others on a typical project. Similarly, more than half (52%) reported working with other teams on a daily or weekly basis. 


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The need to collaborate effectively with distributed teams and staff means that developers view “regular touchpoints” with colleagues as the most effective factor for better collaboration. 

“Developers view regular touchpoints with colleagues across asynchronous channels, documentation, and well-run team meetings as critical to successful collaboration,” the report said. 

These findings align with previous research conducted by GitHub on developer productivity needs. 

Frequent communication via chat applications, documentation, and pull requests was found to improve the “flow and discoverability” of information.

“This leads to better coordination and awareness of team member activities and task priorities. Regular touchpoints can also help align and focus teams to work on the right problems, leading to better solutions and stronger business impact.”

Effective collaboration improves code quality

Fostering closer collaboration across development teams resulted in improved code quality in the long term, GitHub found. 

50% of respondents said heightened collaboration delivered improved test coverage while 47% noted “cleaner” code writing as a key advantage of improved collaboration. 

Similarly, in terms of productivity and speed of development, better collaboration also delivered significant improvements. 

Nearly half (49%) of developers said faster code writing came as a result while 41% revealed they were able to ship code faster. 

“This shows that when developers work effectively with others, they believe they build better and more secure software,” the report read. 

AI and developer productivity

The integration of generative AI tools within a developer’s toolbox was highlighted as a key trend by GitHub, which pioneered the technology with its Copilot AI pair programmer, with the report stating that these tools are now playing a significant role in enhancing individual and team performance. 

An overwhelming majority (92%) of developers said they now use an AI coding tool at their work, or in their personal time. Nearly three-quarters (70%), said they see “significant benefits” to using these tools.

Developers revealed that AI-based tools can help them meet existing performance requirements and deliver improved code quality, faster output of code generation, and reduce the number of production-level incidents. 

Increasingly, developers also believe that these metrics should be used to measure performance beyond code quality. 

Collaboration is also being improved through the integration of AI coding tools, according to GitHub. 

The survey found that 81% of developers believe coding tools will help increase collaboration within their specific teams, but also across the broader organization. 

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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