Plumbr Java Performance Survey: “76% of engineers are trapped in a 4-step cycle”

January 19, 2015 by Plumbr

In November last year, Plumbr carried out its first Java Performance Survey to understand the damage and scope that Java performance issues can cause. Data was collected from 308 respondents, out of which 73% were software engineers. It takes on average 80 hours to find and fix the root cause. No solution other than Plumbr today can cut out the time consuming 4-step cycle of „trying to reproduce – gather evidence – interpret the evidence – link evidence to the root cause“.

Solving a Java performance issue is a long and time-consuming process. „Thanks to the survey, the workflow became very clear to me“, says Plumbr Product Manager Ivo Mägi. „The answers unfolded a 7-step process (see the graph below) that engineers go through before solving the issue and by using Plumbr, engineers can skip 4 most time-consuming steps.“, he adds.

According to the survey the average time that is spent on finding and fixing the root cause is 80 hours. 284 respondents spent 22,600 man-hours in total on detecting and troubleshooting a single performance issue.


3 key findings from the survey:

  • The average time that is spent on finding and fixing the root cause is 80 hours
  • It takes approximately 2 weeks to solve a Java performance issue
  • 76% of the engineers struggle the most with “trying to reproduce – gather evidence – make sense of the evidence – link evidence to the root cause” cycle

When asked what tools engineers used to find the performance issue root cause, on average an engineer applied no less than 4 different tools before managing to gather enough evidence. „The sheer number of tools used in this phase definitely exceeded our expectations“, added Mägi. The noticeable amount (10%) of respondents said that they do not have a clue what caused the performance error in their system. “This again confirms the fact that root cause detection is a complex domain, desperately in need for improved tooling“, he concludes.

In general the respondents described their experience with detecting and solving Java performance issues – including insights about where they get trapped, what’s most painful, what tools they used and why evidence gathering is no easy task. The survey results also aim to provide useful insights for the Java community. It’s downloadable here:

About Plumbr

Plumbr is a Java performance monitoring solution that tells you step-by-step how to fix your application, often before it even breaks. It is the only solution that automatically detects the root causes of Java performance issues by interpreting application performance data. We have already more than 100 customers from all over the world including NASA, NATO, Dell, HBO, Experian and EMC Corporation. Learn more at