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Study: Developers would rather do taxes than test software

A survey of developers suggests they're so frustrated by buggy, ill-tested software that they'd rather enjoy filling out tax forms than manipulating manually tested software.

I know that the occasional developer wanders to these pages in order to discover important things, such as whether they should friend Mark Zuckerberg.

Because I feel a great responsibility toward our developing future, I have dedicated some considerable time to understanding developers better.

Here's what I have learned. Developers really, really do not like going to the dentist. They also really, really don't like the thought of having a fender-bender on their way home from work.

However, in their heart of hearts, should you be able to find such a place, they also have some severe problems testing software. In fact, or in as much fact as one can ever glean from a piece of research, they would rather sit down and do their taxes than deal with some of the buggy pieces of tribulation their companies force upon them, seemingly on a daily basis.

Is it really more fun doing your taxes than testing software? Surely not. CC Casey Serin/Flickr

The research was performed on behalf of, you will become comatose on hearing, Electric Cloud, a company that provides solutions to software management indigestion. I managed to peruse the spreadsheet of this research in order to truly fathom the developers' pain.

Developers seem to be increasingly bugged by the agony of ill-tested software. All but 11 percent of the respondents cited either design defects, problems in test execution, or simply insufficient time spent on testing on all platforms and targets. And 58 percent named the latter two as the greatest evils.

More than half declared that the last significant software bug cost their companies an average of $250,000. So now, even I, a regressive in so many ways, see just how painful developers' lives really are.

However, this research doesn't seem to account for all the depths and nuances of pain. It gave respondents the option of choosing only the dentist, the fender-bender, or the taxes when expressing their dissatisfaction on, say, discovering that management won't be investing in proper software testing or that sorting out the bugs is down to the developer.

So I would like to hear from developers who are prepared to more precisely express the depth of their pain. Do you, for example, feel more pain with software testing that when your lover insists you are not the man/woman you used to be?

Do you feel more pain with software testing than you do when your doctor insists it's time for that potentially creepy internal examination? Do you feel more pain with software testing than when you have to sit through a movie in which no one is shot, nothing explodes, and everyone seems to talk to everyone else about their feelings?

Please think of this as the ultimate in open-source research. Let us hear your pain, so that others can feel it.