Issue Tracking Tools Survey 2016

We conducted a survey with over 1,500 participants to find out the most popular issue tracking tools and gain insight into how they are used by different members of software development teams.
Here are the results.

Disclaimer:

To promote this survey, we primarily used our own marketing channels. Naturally, we attracted a large number of JetBrains customers and audiences related to JetBrains in one way or another.

Key takeaways

Most popular

JIRA (48%)

Redmine & YouTrack (7% each)
GitHub Issues (6%)
Trello & Microsoft TFS (5%)

Other:
GitLab, Asana & Mantis

Highest satisfaction rate

JIRA & YouTrack (80%)

Cloud version

Low distribution for all tools that offer both versions
YouTrack (21%)
JIRA (29%)
Microsoft TFS (24%)
Company policy is the main reason to stay with an on-premises solution

Developers choose

YouTrack, Trello & GitHub Issues

Managers prefer

Redmine, Microsoft TFS & JIRA

Best features

JIRA & YouTrack

Best open source

Redmine

Best for small teams

Trello

Best for freelancers

GitHub Issues

Most recommended

YouTrack (55%)

GitHub Issues (36%)
Trello (34%)
JIRA (26%)

Least recommended

Microsoft TFS (9%)

Redmine (11%)

Which tools do
they choose and why?

94%
have experience with issue tracking tools

Familiarity (%)

Satisfaction (%)

JIRA & YouTrack
have the highest satisfaction rate of 80%

Who chooses issue tracking tools?

Developers often choose

YouTrack,
Trello
& GitHub Issues

Managers tend to choose

Redmine,
Microsoft TFS
& JIRA

Why do they choose this issue tracker?

JIRA

own experience & industry standard

YouTrack

trusted vendor & free version

Redmine

open source project

Microsoft TFS

industry standard

Trello

free version & own experience

GitHub Issues

own experience & free version

Popularity

JIRA
is the most popular issue tracker used by 48% of the participants

Redmine and YouTrack share second place (7% each), followed by GitHub Issues (6%), Trello and Microsoft TFS (5%).

Feature Comparison

Select a tool:

YouTrack & JIRA

rank highest for

  • working with issues
  • reporting
  • time tracking
  • agile board
  • customization

GitHub Issues

rates highly for

  • working with issues
  • search capabilities
  • working with issues
  • integrations

Redmine

shows the best

  • localization

Trello

is the best for

  • reporting issues

Characteristics

Select a tool:

YouTrack

ranks highest for

  • configuration
  • maintenance
  • documentation
  • support
  • performance
  • value for money

GitHub Issues & Trello

offer the best

  • cloud service
  • usability

Trello

rates highly for

  • configuration
  • maintenance
  • short learning curve

YouTrack & JIRA

show the best

  • feature set

GitHub Issues, Trello & YouTrack

ensure the best

  • performance

Cloud or server?

Why?

Company policy is a primary reason to choose a stand-alone version

Most participants (70-80%) use a stand-alone server when they choose a tool that also offers an incloud version.

Why?

  • cheaper
  • easier to maintain
  • more control
  • don’t trust clouds
  • company policy

Willingness to recommend a tool*

Disclaimer: To promote this survey, we primarily used our own marketing channels. Naturally, we attracted a large number of JetBrains customers and audiences related to JetBrains in one way or another.

YouTrack
is the most likely to be recommended

JIRA, Trello & GitHub Issues

also have decent recommendation rates (26%-36%)

Microsoft TFS and Redmine

are the least likely to be recommended

Size of the teams that use each tool (%)

Freelancer—works independently, and does not work for a company.

All trackers

are mostly used by small teams (2-7). This correlates more with the optimal size of the team, not the tool.

Trello & GitHub Issues

are actively used by freelancers. Trello is #1 choice for small teams.

YouTrack and Redmine

are popular among small teams. Redmine is also used by medium-sized teams (8-12), and YouTrack is popular with larger teams (21-40).

JIRA & Microsoft TFS

are popular with larger teams (8-20).

2-7
All trackers are mostly used by small teams

Size of the companies that use each tool (%)

JIRA & Microsoft TFS

are mostly used by medium-sized companies (51-500) and enterprises (1,000+).

Redmine & YouTrack

are popular with small (2-50) and medium-sized companies like JetBrains (51-500).

GitHub Issues

is a choice for freelancers and small companies (2-50).

Trello

is preferred by small companies (2-50).

GitHub Issues are popular with freelancers

Who participated?

Where do they work?

92%
work in a company
8%
freelance

In which industry?

How big is the company?

51-500
most companies have between 51 and 500 employees (31%)

How large is each team?

2-7
most teams have between 2 to7 members (60%)

Where are they located?

Most of the answers
come from
United States,
Germany
& Russia

Conclusion

When we combine the answers to these questions, we come to an interesting conclusion. The majority of participants:

work as

developers (67%)

in a small team with

2-7 members (60%)

in the industry of

Software Development (62%)

in a medium-sized company with

51-500 staff (31%)

located in

United States, Germany, Russia, UK, or Poland

Average profiles of the 4 most popular roles

67%

Software Developer

Age:
Team size:
Сompany size:
32
2-7
51-500
12%

Team Lead

Age:
Team size:
Сompany size:
35
2-7
51-500
8%

Software Architect

Age:
Team size:
Сompany size:
38
2-7
51-500
5%

CEO/CTO

Age:
Team size:
Сompany size:
39
2-7
11-50
Thank you for your time! We hope you found our report useful. If it inspired you enough, you are welcome to try YouTrack by JetBrains.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at surveys@jetbrains.com.