Mar 06, 2020

Engineers are rethinking database development responsibilities

Database development

Redgate, a software provider of database technologies, released a new survey on the State of Database DevOps to better understand how engineering teams run their databases and what roles developers play. A few key takeaways:

Developers are leading database work: According to the survey, 55% of respondents said developers are solely responsible for authoring database changes. About 80% of respondents said developers are involved in authoring databases in some way—even if they’re not leading the changes.

That means more developers are taking on more roles outside of traditional development responsibilities: in 78% of companies, developers are responsible for both application and database development.

Automation is increasing: While developers are doing more database development, automation is replacing repetitive tasks. In 2018, just 9% of respondents were using automated database provisioning. That number has more than doubled to 21% over the past two years.

Deployment automation saw an even more dramatic jump. In 2018, 21% of respondents used some form of automated database deployments. That number has skyrocketed to 46% this year.

How teams can improve: The report also offers a few findings on what makes a more successful engineering team.

  • Add database version control: Deployers who use version control report lower production defect rates. About 33% of teams without version control said that more than 10% of deployments needed hotfixes, while just 24% of teams with version control said the same.
  • Make it easy to get code reviewed: Of teams that felt it was difficult to get database code reviewed, 37% said that more than 10% of deployments were defective. When teams made code reviews easy, just 19% said that more than 10% of deployments had defects.

As developers increasingly play a role in database changes, teams will need to rethink traditional workflows to better support cross-team collaboration.

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