The Power of Deep Code Insights
March 30, 2020

Jina Na
AppDynamics

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The rise of technologies like cloud computing and automated delivery pipelines has enabled teams to deliver software at breakneck speed. In fact, top tech companies deploy software hundreds, even thousands of times per day, raising the bar for digital services. To stay competitive, organizations in every industry must match the pace of innovation set by these digital-native companies.

However, it's challenging to maintain heterogeneous applications and ensure that service is not only available, but also delighting users and driving business outcomes. From the front-end experience to back-end architecture, a web of third-party services, legacy data centers and a distributed, multi cloud infrastructure are supporting the application.

If you're unable to effectively manage these complex application environments, your business is impacted — an outage leads to poor user experience which leads to lost business and impact to your organizational productivity and resources. Take for instance what recently happened with the Iowa caucus app. Coding issues led to significant delays in counting and reporting important primary results, which led other states, such as Nevada, to pull two previously developed apps for their own primary elections, losing out on tens of thousands of dollars.

This example shows that while deployment velocity has increased exponentially, traditional approaches to troubleshooting fall short when it comes to equipping developers (and IT teams) with enough information to pinpoint the root cause of application code issues.

In fact, according to Stripe Research, developers spend roughly 17.3 hours each week debugging, refactoring and modifying bad code — valuable time that could be spent writing more code, shipping better products and innovating. The bottom line? Nearly $300B (US) in lost developer productivity every year.

What happened in Iowa is just one example of how developers are often blamed for code level issues, issues that with the right level of insight could reveal what's causing a bug in production before impacting the digital experience for customers.

So what's the solution and what opportunities would developers suddenly benefit from if they spent more time writing code and less time debugging?

The Aha Moments — What Code Level Insights Bring to Life

The job of a developer is never ending given business priorities and product roadmaps. For those battling issues in monolithic environments or in highly distributed, microservices-based applications, code level insights greatly improve software delivery efficiency by enabling developers to spend less time debugging and more time delivering world-class software.

Specifically, today, once developers ship their code, access to the application and data is restricted. This means that most dev teams are forced to rely on time and resource intensive logging to collect the critical data needed to understand the cause of any performance impact.

Instead of this time intensive, often manual process, by leveraging code-level insights, developers are able to capture critical data and context, on-demand. This level of insight, means, developers have access to data and can collect the necessary information when they need to in order to pinpoint what's causing an issue. As a result, developers have witnessed a decrease in MTTR, improving the overall IT efficiency of their teams, a tighter alignment between Operations and Development teams and according to recent studies, a 25 percent improvement in developer productivity, freeing up valuable time to focus on releasing new features.

Armed with time back, developers can focus on building market-differentiating products that drive user experience, customer satisfaction, and business priorities. This is especially key for organizations competing with younger, digital-native companies.

Jina Na is Associate Product Marketing Manager at AppDynamics
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