Developers 55 years of age and older tend to ship software quite a bit faster than their younger, post-college colleagues, according to a report released today by Atlassian. The report also found that the senior developers use fewer tools than average, while younger developers use more modern development practices, such as microservices.

“There’s this impression of young software companies being agile,” said Sean Regan, head of growth for software teams at Atlassian, but the report results show that isn’t always the case.

According to the report, the average developers uses 4.3 tools to move code from development to production, Regan said, adding that developers on average need to check 3.3 tools to learn the status of a project.

Related content: Old developers can learn new tricks

In an interview with SD Times, Regan called for a standard protocol for work in the software development industry. “There is no common way of doing work,” he said. “There are too many tools.”

This is a function of different teams wanting to use the tools they are most comfortable with to complete their jobs, but those tools often don’t work across teams, Regan explained. “It’s an organic fusion of people trying to contribute, and one common companywide tool doesn’t work. So if people refuse to use the same set of tools, because they want to use their own, how do we all work together?”

Atlassian believes the solution is a common protocol beneath the IDE, code repository, pipeline, deployment, dashboards and spreadsheets, and the company is working to establish its Jira product management tool as the solution that ties the tools together.

“We’re thinking of ourselves as a bus beneath it all,” Regan said. “We want members of the software team to work where they are. If they’re using VS Code, work there, and we won’t make you go to Jira. We want to make JQL available in Excel or Sheets, bringing Jira to them where they work.”

A tool like Pendo collects a tremendous amount of data on how users interact with applications, and Regan said called that “a great source for Jira. It can bring outcomes right into Jira issues.”

A project management tool, he said, “should be smart enough to bring context to everyone automatically.” APIs make this possible, because Regan added “when you have APIs, you need fewer project managers and fewer tool updates.”

APIs also allow organizations to swap out pieces of their stack more flexibly, eliminating unnecessary downtime and providing the agility to adapt to changes in the market.

Other points noted in the report are that microservices are becoming more popular, with 71 percent of sofware and IT teams saying microservices architectures make testing and deploying features easier; and that 47 percent of teams reported that CI/CD pipelines help them update and add features more quickly, deliver feedback more quickly, and that those teams have begun using automated testing to help keep pace with delivery speed.

Further, the report found that the use of feature flags in development resulted in better testing of features and higher-quality software, and that companies are prioritizing outcome-driven development to shift focus from speed of delivery to providing value to customers.