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Jellyfish Survey Finds Software Engineers Are Now Strategic Partners, Not Just Builders, For Business

Nine in 10 respondents say engineering team helps inform business strategy, according to 2024 State of Engineering Management Report

BOSTON, June 12, 2024 — Jellyfish, a leading Engineering Management Platform, published the 2024 State of Engineering Management Report, which examines the evolution of how engineering teams organize, measure, and staff their work — and the impact of generative AI coding tools. The report reveals stark differences in the experiences of front-line engineers and their leaders, as well as varying predictions for how AI will shape engineering organizations. 

The fifth annual report surveyed more than 600 full-time professionals in engineering, including individual contributors, managers, and executives. Respondents ranged from early-stage startups to enterprises with more than 500 engineers, with roles from software development to DevOps to platform engineering. 

According to the research, engineers — long expected to take orders and build products without shaping the business as a whole — are now strategic partners. Overall, 90% of respondents said their engineering team helps inform business strategy, 94% said engineering helps the business grow, and 95% said engineering helps the business work more efficiently. Engineers are driving new opportunities for expansion and efficiency across the board.

Findings from the 2024 State of Engineering Management Report include:

65% of all respondents experienced burnout in the past year: The problem was particularly acute for short-staffed engineers and leaders overseeing large organizations. Of respondents at companies with more than 500 people in their engineering organization, 85% of managers and 92% of executives reported experiencing burnout. A similar number (85%) of engineers who are part of a team of less than 10 engineers said the same.

60% of engineering managers and executives report a shortage of qualified candidates in the market for engineering roles: Organizations looking to add headcount may find fewer candidates than expected — even after widespread layoffs in tech.

61% of engineering organizations have embraced AI: 94% of AI users said that the integration of AI positively influenced their team’s productivity, 81% said AI increases the quality of code, and 84% said using AI frees up time to focus on high-value activities.

Not everyone is on board with AI: Of the non-AI users, 48% said their team had not adopted the technology due to concerns about security, 34% said the reason was a lack of expertise, and 24% said budget constraints had prevented them from using AI. Notably, 19% of executives who had not embraced the technology cited their belief that AI was a gimmick; just 3% of engineers and managers shared that opinion.

“In recent years, engineering leaders have fought for more visibility into their team’s work, overcame the pandemic and the shift to hybrid work challenges, and used hard data to point their organizations toward growth,” said Andrew Lau, CEO and co-founder at Jellyfish. “Now engineers are true strategic partners, not just builders, and they’re using AI and effective management backed by hard metrics to stay ahead of the competition. As generative AI reshapes software engineering teams over the long term, organizations must combine effective management with real-time measurement to boost efficiency and deliver business impact.”

Issues For Engineering Leaders

Engineers are going through a significant period of change: shifting market conditions, transformative technologies like Generative AI, and new approaches to organizing engineering work and quantifying impact. 

The new report from Jellyfish revealed a consistent lack of alignment between business leaders and the engineers building their products: 71% of execs at large enterprises believe productivity decreased, compared to 40% of engineers; 43% of engineers feel that leadership at their company is out of the loop regarding engineering challenges, compared to 92% of executives; and 46% of engineers report that their teams are experiencing burnout, compared to 34% of executives. 

The disconnect also applied to Generative AI: 76% of executives believe their team has embraced AI, while only 52% of engineers say the same. This lack of alignment shouldn’t be a surprise—there’s currently no effective, widely adopted way to measure and manage AI adoption and impact. To bring these responses in line in 2024 and beyond, engineering leaders must find the metrics and discussions that will help to establish common ground between engineering teams and their company’s leaders. 

The 2024 State of Engineering Management Report is available today.

Research Methodology

Jellyfish surveyed 604 full-time professionals in engineering, including individual contributors, managers, and executives. The respondents come from small engineering teams with less than 10 people, large enterprises with more than 500 engineers, and everything in between; their roles range from software development to quality assurance to DevOps and platform engineering. The survey was conducted between February and April 2024 by Kickstand Research.

About Jellyfish

Jellyfish is the leading Engineering Management Platform that enables leaders to align engineering work with strategic business objectives. By analyzing engineering signals and contextual business data, Jellyfish provides complete visibility into engineering organizations, their work, and how they operate. Companies like Hootsuite, Priceline, and PagerDuty use Jellyfish to optimize the allocation of engineering resources to focus their teams on what matters most to the business. For more information, visit