Research:Cloud Services Annual Survey/2016

Tracked in Phabricator:
task T147336

The 2016 Tool Labs survey collects feedback from Tool Labs' developers and maintainers on how the services offered can be improved to help their development and maintenance needs.

ParticipantsEdit

The participants of the survey are the members of the Wikimedia Tool Labs project. 984 participants were contacted via email. The emails were harvested from Labs' LDAP system and the Wikitech database. The final list was created by finding the intersection of the members of the Tool Labs project gathered from LDAP and the Wikitech users with confirmed email addresses who had not opted-out of email contact by other users in their Wikitech preferences.

175 email recipients participated in the survey which represents 18% of those who were contacted.

DatesEdit

The 2016 survey was active between 2016-10-20 and 2016-11-04.

Questions and answersEdit

Basic demographicsEdit

How many years have you used Tool Labs?Edit

Help: If you were a Toolserver user, please include the total number of years that you have used Toolserver and Tool Labs.

Cohort Percentage
1 Year 28.74%
2-3 Years 33.33%
4+ Years 37.93%

How many tools have you developed in Tool Labs?Edit

Help: We do not have a canonical definition of "tools". We are trying to estimate how much burden is on you, so please use your best judgement in assessing how many tools you have developed.

Cohort Percentage
0 Tools 12.64%
1 Tool 32.18%
2-3 Tools 27.01%
4+ Tools 28.16%

How many tools do you actively maintain in Tool Labs?Edit

Help: We do not have a canonical definition of "tools". We are trying to estimate how much burden is on you, so please use your best judgement in assessing how many tools you maintain.

Cohort Percentage
0 Maintain 21.97%
1 Maintain 34.10%
2 Maintain 18.50%
3+ Maintain 25.43%

How many hours per week do you spend developing or maintaining tools on Tool Labs?Edit

Cohort Percentage
0 Hours 28.83%
1 Hour 28.22%
2-8 Hours 33.74%
9+ Hours 9.20%

Were you a developer and/or maintainer in the Toolserver as well?Edit

Cohort Percentage
No Toolserver 62.07%
Toolserver 37.93%

Additional demographicsEdit

What programming languages do you prefer to program in?Edit

For this question, the participants had the following choices: Perl, PHP, Python 2, Python 3, Ruby, or they could enter the language of their choice. Note that participants could report more than one language.

Language %
Python3 48.00%
PHP 46.86%
Python2 34.86%
JavaScript 9.71%
Perl 9.14%
Java 8.57%
Other 8.57%
Ruby 7.43%
C# 1.71%

When you develop a tool, what percentage of your work is done locally (as opposed to remotely on Tool Labs)?Edit

Help: For example, enter 30 if 30% of your development work is done locally.

Answers were rounded up to the nearest 5% for analysis.

Answer Percentage reported
0 9.09%
5 1.82%
10 5.45%
15 1.21%
20 3.64%
25 0.61%
30 3.64%
40 2.42%
50 7.27%
60 3.03%
65 1.21%
70 7.88%
75 1.82%
80 15.15%
85 0.61%
90 17.58%
95 6.67%
100 10.91%

Do you prefer using source control to manage your tool's source code?Edit

Yes No
137 31

Qualitative questionsEdit

A series of qualitative questions were asked in order to gauge general satisfaction with Tool Labs.

Services have high reliability (up time)Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Agree/Strongly Agree 87.57% 91.67% 90.91% 81.82% 95.65% 86.79% 88.89% 83.33% 89.47% 85.96% 86.67% 88.64% 83.64% 91.11% 88.89% 86.67% 89.42% 84.62%
Disagree/Strongly Disagree 10.06% 0.00% 9.09% 18.18% 0.00% 7.55% 11.11% 16.67% 5.26% 10.53% 13.33% 11.36% 9.09% 8.89% 11.11% 13.33% 7.69% 13.85%

It is easy to write code and have it running on Tool LabsEdit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Agree/Strongly Agree 71.76% 73.47% 65.45% 75.76% 36.36% 80.00% 73.91% 76.60% 43.24% 77.97% 80.65% 81.40% 51.79% 80.43% 83.02% 80.00% 71.15% 72.73%
Disagree/Strongly Disagree 22.35% 18.37% 27.27% 21.21% 31.82% 16.36% 23.91% 23.40% 35.14% 20.34% 16.13% 18.60% 32.14% 17.39% 16.98% 20.00% 20.19% 25.76%

I feel I am supported by the Tool Labs team when I contact them via labs-l, wikimedia-labs IRC channel, or phabricator.Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Agree/Strongly Agree 71.35% 66.00% 70.91% 75.76% 50.00% 60.00% 80.43% 85.42% 56.76% 66.10% 80.65% 84.09% 52.63% 82.22% 75.93% 93.33% 66.67% 78.79%
Disagree/Strongly Disagree 9.36% 14.00% 9.09% 6.06% 18.18% 9.09% 8.70% 6.25% 13.51% 8.47% 9.68% 6.82% 8.77% 6.67% 14.81% 0.00% 12.38% 4.55%

I receive useful information via labs-announce / labs-l mailing list.Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Agree/Strongly Agree 46.71% 43.75% 38.89% 55.38% 34.78% 41.51% 48.84% 56.25% 27.78% 42.11% 46.67% 68.18% 29.63% 60.00% 50.00% 57.14% 40.38% 57.14%
Disagree/Strongly Disagree 17.37% 14.58% 18.52% 18.46% 8.70% 9.43% 25.58% 22.92% 13.89% 15.79% 26.67% 15.91% 16.67% 11.11% 22.22% 21.43% 15.38% 20.63%

Documentation is easy-to-findEdit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Agree/Strongly Agree 46.43% 48.94% 45.45% 45.45% 45.00% 48.15% 50.00% 41.67% 38.89% 47.37% 54.84% 45.45% 50.00% 51.11% 42.59% 33.33% 43.14% 51.52%
Disagree/Strongly Disagree 49.40% 42.55% 50.91% 53.03% 35.00% 46.30% 50.00% 58.33% 47.22% 49.12% 45.16% 54.55% 37.04% 48.89% 57.41% 66.67% 50.98% 46.97%

How do you compare the support you received when using Toolserver with the support you receive when using Tool Labs?Edit

Only the participants who had indicated previous Toolserver use were shown this question. Therefore, the responses are based on this subset of participants.

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours
Better 47.69% 50.00% 40.00% 48.98% 100.00% 27.27% 52.63% 48.48% 62.50% 28.57% 64.71% 42.31% 36.84% 60.00% 42.11% 57.14%
As good 41.54% 50.00% 40.00% 40.82% 0.00% 63.64% 36.84% 39.39% 25.00% 64.29% 29.41% 42.31% 47.37% 35.00% 47.37% 28.57%
Worse 10.77% 0.00% 20.00% 10.20% 0.00% 9.09% 10.53% 12.12% 12.50% 7.14% 5.88% 15.38% 15.79% 5.00% 10.53% 14.29%

Tool Labs documentation is comprehensive.Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Agree/Strongly Agree 50.29% 55.10% 50.00% 46.97% 45.45% 54.55% 52.17% 45.83% 48.65% 52.54% 51.61% 47.73% 48.21% 50.00% 50.00% 60.00% 50.48% 50.00%
Disagree/Strongly Disagree 44.44% 36.73% 42.86% 51.52% 27.27% 40.00% 47.83% 54.17% 35.14% 42.37% 48.39% 52.27% 37.50% 47.83% 50.00% 40.00% 41.90% 48.48%

Tool Labs documentation is clear.Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Agree/Strongly Agree 47.95% 53.06% 42.86% 48.48% 40.91% 49.09% 56.52% 41.67% 37.84% 47.46% 61.29% 47.73% 39.29% 56.52% 50.00% 46.67% 43.81% 54.55%
Disagree/Strongly Disagree 46.20% 36.73% 50.00% 50.00% 31.82% 43.64% 43.48% 58.33% 45.95% 45.76% 38.71% 52.27% 46.43% 39.13% 50.00% 53.33% 47.62% 43.94%

Service usageEdit

A section of questions on the frequency of use of various services offered by Tool Labs was included in the survey. The responses to these questions may be used to prioritize support and/or new service development by the Tool Labs administrators. These questions will not necessarily appear in future surveys.

How often have you used LabsDB access?Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Often 38.89% 20.45% 28.85% 59.09% 4.55% 18.00% 52.38% 64.58% 18.92% 18.87% 62.07% 65.12% 13.21% 55.81% 47.06% 53.33% 28.28% 55.56%
Seldom/Sometimes 25.93% 27.27% 28.85% 22.73% 22.73% 32.00% 21.43% 25.00% 24.32% 30.19% 20.69% 25.58% 28.30% 18.60% 27.45% 33.33% 27.27% 23.81%
Never 27.78% 40.91% 36.54% 12.12% 45.45% 46.00% 16.67% 10.42% 40.54% 45.28% 10.34% 6.98% 43.40% 20.93% 21.57% 13.33% 33.33% 19.05%

How often have you used Webservices?Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Often 49.08% 30.43% 55.77% 56.92% 9.09% 44.23% 54.76% 68.09% 16.22% 48.15% 51.72% 76.74% 21.82% 64.29% 58.82% 73.33% 42.57% 59.68%
Seldom/Sometimes 26.99% 30.43% 23.08% 27.69% 27.27% 28.85% 23.81% 27.66% 32.43% 25.93% 34.48% 18.60% 30.91% 26.19% 23.53% 26.67% 26.73% 27.42%
Never 17.18% 30.43% 15.38% 9.23% 40.91% 23.08% 14.29% 2.13% 37.84% 18.52% 10.34% 2.33% 34.55% 4.76% 13.73% 0.00% 21.78% 9.68%

How often have you used Cronjobs?Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Often 42.07% 20.00% 39.62% 59.09% 0.00% 35.29% 51.16% 60.42% 16.67% 35.71% 68.97% 53.49% 30.91% 48.84% 50.00% 35.71% 32.35% 58.06%
Seldom/Sometimes 30.49% 33.33% 30.19% 28.79% 31.82% 25.49% 32.56% 33.33% 25.00% 30.36% 24.14% 39.53% 21.82% 34.88% 32.69% 42.86% 30.39% 30.65%
Never 22.56% 40.00% 26.42% 7.58% 45.45% 37.25% 11.63% 6.25% 44.44% 30.36% 6.90% 4.65% 36.36% 13.95% 15.38% 21.43% 29.41% 11.29%

How often have you used Redis?Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Often 6.21% 2.27% 11.54% 4.62% 0.00% 3.92% 12.20% 6.38% 2.70% 3.77% 6.90% 11.90% 5.56% 4.76% 5.88% 14.29% 5.05% 8.06%
Seldom/Sometimes 18.01% 9.09% 19.23% 23.08% 4.55% 13.73% 17.07% 29.79% 2.70% 15.09% 24.14% 30.95% 3.70% 23.81% 21.57% 42.86% 16.16% 20.97%
Never 66.46% 75.00% 63.46% 63.08% 68.18% 78.43% 60.98% 57.45% 75.68% 75.47% 55.17% 54.76% 74.07% 64.29% 66.67% 42.86% 66.67% 66.13%

How often have you used GridEngine Continuous jobs?Edit

All 1 Year 2-3 Years 4+ Years 0 Tools 1 Tool 2-3 Tools 4+ Tools 0 Maintain 1 Maintain 2 Maintain 3+ Maintain 0 Hours 1 Hour 2-8 Hours 9+ Hours No toolserver Toolserver
Often 24.39% 20.00% 20.75% 30.30% 0.00% 19.23% 28.57% 37.50% 8.11% 25.45% 31.03% 32.56% 12.73% 20.93% 36.54% 35.71% 20.79% 30.16%
Seldom/Sometimes 20.73% 8.89% 22.64% 27.27% 9.09% 13.46% 16.67% 37.50% 16.22% 10.91% 20.69% 37.21% 20.00% 25.58% 17.31% 21.43% 13.86% 31.75%
Never 48.17% 64.44% 49.06% 36.36% 63.64% 63.46% 47.62% 25.00% 59.46% 56.36% 48.28% 27.91% 54.55% 46.51% 44.23% 42.86% 54.46% 38.10%

Free form responsesEdit

The survey included several free form response sections. Survey participants were told that we would only publicly share their responses or survey results in aggregate or anonymized form. The free form responses include comments broadly falling into these categories:

  • Documentation (54 comments)
  • Workflow (22 comments)
  • Stability & performance (11 comments)
  • Software versions (8 comments)
  • Monitoring (8 comments)
  • Kubernetes / PaaS (6 comments)
  • Storage (4 comments)
  • Support (4 comments)
  • Discovery (3 comments)
  • Other (15 comments)

DocumentationEdit

Over a third of the comments concerned the state of Tool Labs documentation. Given the survey scores on documentation related questions this is not surprising. Many suggestions for improvement focus on step by step guides, task based tutorials, and new user onboarding guides. Better coverage of database related issues also received multiple mentions.

WorkflowEdit

Workflow related comments included several calls for easier methods of uploading and downloading files in shared tool accounts. Others hoped for some form of automated deployment related to GitHub repositories and web-based editing capabilities. Several people commented on difficulties learning and using Linux commands with a Windows background.

Stability & performanceEdit

Three comments asked for overall stability to be a focus for the coming year's work. Increased performance of Tool Labs provided services such as database servers and the hosted tools themselves also received several mentions.

Software versionsEdit

Java 8, PHP 7, and general software and library upgrades were requested.

MonitoringEdit

Services for monitoring and alerting on webservice uptime, grid jobs, and log files were included in the comments.

Kubernetes / PaaSEdit

Comments asked for expanded Kubernetes services, Docker support, and Platform as a Service rollout.

StorageEdit

Storage comments mentioned expanded capacity for database and large file storage. NFS speed improvements were also mentioned.

SupportEdit

Comments on the topic of support called for expanded staffing by the WMF and additional coverage in the #wikimedia-labs irc channel.

DiscoveryEdit

Better systems to track and search existing tools are desired.