Main image of article How Do Tech Professionals Actually Spend Their Work Time?

How do software developers and engineers spend their days? Do they have a lot of time to actually code, or do they burn too many hours on activities like meetings?

SlashData and Sentry recently collaborated on a survey designed to measure the state of developers’ happiness. Based on answers from 1,100 respondents worldwide, it’s clear that software developers spend the bulk of their time on real software development—but they must also devote a considerable number of hours to project management, internal messaging, and more. Check out the chart:

Based on this data, many software developers and engineers are spending slightly more time on software development than they desire. They’re also burning more minutes on other processes—including project management, internal messaging, and handling infrastructure issues—than they actually want. As a whole, these tech pros would like to spend more hours on other activities, although the survey doesn’t define the nature of that “other”; perhaps it’s something like training, or getting better at “Fortnite.”

According to the same survey, software developers and engineers consider meetings, unclear priorities, sluggish internal bureaucracy, and muddled communication with management to be some of their biggest obstacles to getting real work done. Whether a developer is spending too much time on coding or messaging is usually up to the individual; but some of these obstacles and blockers can have a sizable impact on whether a team or even a company manages to complete all of its goals on time and within budget.

As with so many things in life, software developers and engineers need to voice their concerns about their time and workloads to management. Without that communication, managers can’t adjust schedules and workloads. Given the importance of tech professionals to organizations’ overall strategies, chances are good that management will listen to constructive feedback about what you need to do your job better.