According to 2 collaborative articles from Priceonomics and Redbooth, the 8-hour workday is a myth. Although we’d all like to believe we’re super productive (from 9-ish to 5-ish), the data tell a very different story.

After an exhaustive study of 1.8 million projects across hundreds of thousands of users, Priceonomics and Redbooth determined that:

  • The most productive day of the week is Monday.
  • The most productive time of day is around 11 AM.

And we decided to see if these findings matched up with our own internal, anonymized data.

More specifically, we wanted to determine when software testers are most likely to:

  • Run tests
  • Find bugs
  • Close defects

And what we discovered was both predictable and surprising.

Our Software Testing Productivity Findings

Based on our analyses (summarized below), testers are most active on:

  • Mondays (when they actually run the most tests)
  • And

  • Tuesdays (when they actually find the most bugs).

Tuesday is also the most popular day for closing out defects.

So far, this is pretty much in line with what the Priceonomics study found.

The similarities only continue, with the hours just before lunch being the most active for software testers. The period between 10 AM and noon is when we run the most tests (40%).

By contrast, defect discovery tends to be most popular right after lunch. However, the boost in productivity is relatively modest. Our ability to find bugs remains fairly constant throughout the workday.

First thing in the morning (8 AM) is when testers are most likely to close out defects. One can only speculate as to why this is. Perhaps morning is when we’re most likely to see the developers’ fixes from the previous day.

Who knows?

Summarized Productivity Data for Software Testers

The charts below show our summarized findings.

Most of these findings are fairly predictable – especially if you’ve already read similar studies in the past.

  • The week starts off strong before quickly tapering off – with Friday being the least productive day of all. That being said, software testers remain surprisingly active throughout the work week. There is definitely a drop off as the weekend approaches. But the reduction in output is much smaller than what you see with other occupations and industries.
  • Mornings tend to be more productive than afternoons. But again, software testers don’t adhere to this trend as faithfully as you might expect. We’re busy throughout the day, with relatively modest drops in productivity once lunch is over.

Some Productivity Findings That Stood Out

There were a few things that kind of surprised us (although not really).
During our “unofficial” data analysis, we discover that testers don’t really take time off – not in any meaningful way.

The least productive stretches are during weekends and outside normal business hours.

There is no official day off or “closed for business” in our industry.
With teams spread around the globe, someone is always working on something… somewhere.

These findings might be different if the testers we surveyed used on-site servers and QA management tools. But our cloud-based software testing platform caters to an international crowd of remote teams that seemingly work around the clock.

And this trend will only become more pronounced as the industry continues to embrace flextime, telecommuting, and increasingly tight deadlines.

When Are You the Most Productive?

Do these productivity numbers match up with your own busy work schedule?
Are there times of the day when your output goes through the roof (or comes to a halt)?

Either way, please share your comments down below.