CircleCI’s 2023 State of Software Delivery Report Finds High Performing Engineering Teams Prioritize Time to Recovery, Robust Testing, and Platform Teams

Key findings show adoption of continuous validation practices on the rise

(Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--CircleCI, the leading continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform, today released its annual 2023 State of Software Delivery Report.

Examining more than 14 million workflows from over twenty-two thousand organizations on the CircleCI platform, the report aims to answer: What do high-performing engineering teams look like quantitatively, and how can organizations reach their peak through a holistic software delivery practice?

The report shows the most successful engineering teams routinely meet four key benchmarks. By hitting these benchmarks, high achieving teams are getting the maximum value from their software delivery pipelines:

  • Workflow Durations are ten minutes or less
  • Recovery from any failed run is fixed or reverted in under an hour
  • Success Rates are above 90% for the default branch of their application
  • They deploy as often as their business requires and at least 1+ times per day

"CircleCI’s 2023 State of Software Delivery Report provides valuable insights into the trends and challenges in the world of software delivery, serving as a guide for organizations who are looking to gain a competitive edge," said Jim Rose, CEO of CircleCI. "The data reveals that teams leveraging automation and continuous integration are well positioned to survive and thrive in the current economic climate."

The Role of Platform Teams

The 2023 State of Software Delivery Report also provides insights into how platform teams can help software teams achieve key benchmarks, including:

  • Setting guardrails and enforcing quality standards across projects to improve duration.
  • Setting up effective monitoring and alerting systems to quickly detect broken builds, notify teams, and track recovery times.
  • Looking beyond surface-level metrics to uncover the most meaningful data about team performance.
  • Map throughput goals to internal and businesses goals.

"Platform teams adopt an engineering mindset and approach to their infrastructure as code, leveraging common software practices like sharing and reuse, testing, and continuous policy scanning and enforcement,” said Joe Duffy, CEO of Pulumi. "We created Pulumi Orbs for CircleCI to help teams seamlessly adopt these practices, providing automatic safety and predictability, and enabling them to ship their infrastructure faster with confidence."

Other key report findings include:

  • Development teams are prioritizing throughput and mean time to recovery (MTTR)
    • MTTR decreased by about 13% YoY and is the most notable change among any of the four metrics observed in this year’s data.
    • Additionally, the top 25% highest performers on the CircleCI platform recovered in 15 minutes or less, and the top 5% of performers recovered in under five minutes.
  • Large engineering teams are faster and more responsive, while remaining just as productive as their mid-sized counterparts
    • Duration, throughput, and time to recovery all continue to increase until teams reach about 100 contributors, at which point duration and recovery time begin to fall while throughput remains steady.
    • One explanation for this is that when most organizations reach 100 engineers per team, they begin to centralize and consolidate tooling and process decisions for better efficiency and control, often under the guidance of a platform engineering team.
  • Developer productivity is predictable
    • The report found that global developer activity fell 68.8% globally on Christmas and 40% on April 15, 2022 when Good Friday, Passover, and Ramadan overlapped.
    • On the other hand, events of major national significance, such as the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, resulted in localized productivity drops, but had no real impact on developer productivity globally.

“Though we often talk about culture within developer teams, this report offers a reminder that the broader social culture we are all part of also plays a role in developer productivity,” said Rachel Stephens of RedMonk. “While software development can have a lot of uncertainty, leadership can forecast the impact of external factors on software development. Cost and strategy are inextricably linked together for software teams, so guidance on predictability and efficiency are crucial.”

The full 2023 State of Software Delivery Report is available for download on the CircleCI website.


The 2023 State of Software Delivery Report explores data from more than 14 million workflows from over twenty-two thousand organizations in 149 countries. The data analyzed was collected within the first 28 days of September 2022.

About CircleCI

CircleCI is the leading continuous integration and delivery platform for software innovation at scale. With intelligent automation and delivery tools, CircleCI is used by the world's best engineering teams to radically reduce the time from idea to execution. The company has been recognized as an innovative leader in cloud-native continuous integration by independent research firms and industry awards like the DEVIES, Forbes’ Best Startup Employers of the Year, and Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in downtown San Francisco with a global, remote workforce, CircleCI is venture-backed by Base10, Greenspring Associates, Eleven Prime, IVP, Sapphire Ventures, Top Tier Capital Partners, Baseline Ventures, Threshold Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Owl Rock Capital, Next Equity Partners, Heavybit and Harrison Metal Capital. Learn more at


Summer Falgiano, CircleCI


Summer Falgiano, CircleCI