I’ve been working on and waiting for this paper to get published. I co-authored it with some of my team mates in Pivotal/Tanzu Labs. It documents a practice that the Labs people have been doing, a developer toil survey.

First, we develop the concept of “developer toil” in the paper. I think it’s a type of tech debt that isn’t noticed and optimized enough: all the work and waiting developers need to go through to finally start coding and running their software.

Seconds, we go over a tool for finding developer toil and giving feedback on plans to fix it. A survey-driven “audit.”

What I liked about this process when I learned about it is that it has a mechanism for finding developer toil – it answers the “how” of the problem. The Labs people use a survey that you can send out to developers to find and rank common types of toil. Then, if your someone in charge of improving how your organization does software (“digital transformation”) you can go through that ranked list and start to fix problems.

It’s pragmatic, perhaps imperfect, but it’s better than nothing and should be enough to get your started on whatever you think perfect is.

Go download it for free, in return for your email address, of course.