Diffblue Survey Finds 86 Percent of Java Developers Rely on Spring Framework

Spring makes developers more productive and simplifies creating unit tests for higher code quality

OXFORD, United Kingdom, April 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diffblue, creators of the world’s first AI-for-code solution that automates writing unit tests for Java, today released the findings of its third annual developer survey showing that more than 86 percent of Java software engineers rely on the Spring Framework.

“Spring and Spring Boot are even more popular than we expected,” said Mathew Lodge, CEO of Diffblue. “Developers using Spring are more satisfied with their code, they program faster, they feel that their code is of higher quality and they find it easier to write unit tests, a common best practice that can be time-consuming for software engineers.”

A comprehensive survey of Java developers (JVM Ecosystem Report 2020) conducted last year by noted developer security vendor Synk found that only half of their respondents relied on the Spring framework to code.

The survey questions were collected anonymously and independent of Diffblue by UK research firm Vanson Bourne (150 in the UK and 300 in the US). The 15-question survey included a mixture of Likert scales, multiple choice and open-ended questions.

A remarkable 96 percent of Spring users say the tooling helps them be better Java developers. Developers cited many benefits of using the Spring Framework, according to the survey, including saved time and better supported unit testing.

Spring Framework users also place an emphasis on code quality and testing practices in general. Compared to developers who don't use Spring or Spring Boot, Spring Framework users:

  • Most highly value quality in their organization's code, with stability and speed almost tied for second;
  • Report higher code coverage (all of the respondents who reported 100% Java unit test coverage were Spring/Spring Boot users);
  • Report better code quality in their organizations;
  • Are the most likely to agree that unit tests make it easier to modernize legacy code and migrate to the cloud;
  • Are the most open to trying out new testing tools.

While Spring made it easier to write unit tests for Java, only 25 percent of respondents reported code test coverage of 75 percent or more. But more than half say up to 50 percent of their code base is covered by unit tests.

Half of the respondents complain that they invest up to 50 percent of their time writing tests. Fortunately, Spring provides excellent support for testing, which is a key part of DevOps—the highest priority initiative among respondents.

New AI automation solutions like Diffblue Cover automatically generate Java unit tests at speeds up to 100X faster than humans, and are particularly effective in combination with the testing support features built into Spring. The survey shows that code quality is directly related to testing practices, with more than half of the respondents saying their organization’s code is of the highest quality. More than 90 percent reported that unit tests make it easier to modernize legacy code and also to migrate applications to the cloud.

Diffblue Cover today supports Java, the most popular enterprise programming language in the Global 2000. The technology behind Diffblue Cover is also planned to be extended to support other popular programming languages such as Python, Javascript and C#.

About Diffblue

Diffblue is leading the automation of software creation through the power of AI. Founded by researchers from the University of Oxford, Diffblue Cover uses AI for code to write unit tests that help software teams and organizations efficiently improve their code coverage and quality and to ship software faster, more frequently and with fewer defects. With customers including AWS and Goldman Sachs, Diffblue is venture-backed by Goldman Sachs and Oxford Sciences Innovation. Follow us on Twitter: @diffblueHQ

Editorial Contact
Lonn Johnston for Diffblue