The Cost of long Build Times

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Long build times lead to high costs. In this article we take a look at how high these costs actually are and what effect the reduction of the build time has.

The cost of slow builds

Let’s say you have 50 developers working in your company. Let’s also assume that the average time for a build is 10 minutes. If 10 builds are started per day per developer, we are at a build time of 100 minutes per developer, which means 83 hours of unproductive waiting time for the entire team – every day.

With an average developer salary of 50,600 Euros per year (average Vienna according to Stepstone), a 10-minute build costs ~1,807 € per day. Calculated over 5 days, that’s a cost of € 9,033.33 or € 469,820 over the year (with 260 working days).

Let’s make it simple and assume you can reduce the build time by 5 minutes. The saving: 4,517 € for 5 days or 234,867 € per year! 234,867 €, which is now being used productively.

Let’s consider this in working days: Your company, your department, your 50 developers get back 10,833 hours of waiting time per year – that’s five and a half working days per developer!

Of course, one could argue that this waiting time is not lost. A developer can do something else in the meantime. But multitasking has something to say about this. And multitasking also causes costs.

According to a study by the University of California, it takes about 23 minutes to resume a previous task with full focus. This means, if a new task is started during the waiting time, the costs actually increase because developers need more time to get back to the old task. The costs of a long build time are actually even higher and the reduction has an even stronger effect than shown here. The shorter the interruption, the better.


The reduction of build time leads to a strong decrease in unused time. This makes it possible to increase productivity and free developers from pointless waiting times. One way to achieve this is through the use of Remote Development Environments (RDEs). Some large companies already use their own solutions here and achieve good results in terms of improving their build times. If you also want to use RDEs, but don’t have the time to build them inhouse then just use our product – Cloudomation DevStack.

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    Johannes Ebner

    Marketing Manager