Unlocking Developer Success: Codility's In-Depth Insights

Unlocking Developer Success: In-Depth Insights

1.1. The Significance of Strong Engineering Teams

In the swiftly changing realm of technology today, the importance of strong engineering teams is paramount. These groups form the foundation of innovation, propelling businesses into the forefront of the digital age. As companies in every sector acknowledge technology’s crucial role in their prosperity, the need for proficient developers and engineers is skyrocketing.

Engineering teams are the masterminds behind the digital solutions that mold our everyday experiences, ranging from mobile applications and web platforms to advanced software and hardware. They are responsible for transforming concepts into tangible realities, tackling intricate challenges, and crafting products that cater to the constantly evolving demands of consumers and businesses.

1.2. About Codility’s Developer Report 2019

This analysis explores the intricate dynamics of the developer community, illuminating their predilections, obstacles, and ambitions. We gathered responses from 2,004 developers through a worldwide online survey conducted in August 2019, providing an extensive perspective on the industry’s current state.

Our objective is to equip you with meaningful insights into the motivations of developers, their preferred work methods, and the elements contributing to their achievement and contentment. As we traverse the sections of this report, you will acquire a more profound comprehension of the developer environment and its implications for constructing and maintaining robust engineering teams.

1.3. A Message from Natalia Panowicz, CEO of Codility

Before we dive into the report’s findings, it’s important to acknowledge the driving force behind Codility’s commitment to understanding the developer community. Our CEO, Natalia Panowicz, shares her perspective on the industry’s evolving dynamics and the role of engineering teams in shaping the future.

Natalia Panowicz’s insights provide context and set the stage for the valuable information that follows in this report. As we explore the various facets of developer preferences, work cultures, and career aspirations, remember that at the heart of it all is the goal of building and retaining strong engineering teams.

Stay engaged as we uncover the key factors that make developers tick, the changing landscape of remote work, the significance of professional growth, and much more. This report offers a window into the world of developers, and the insights contained within can serve as a compass for businesses seeking to thrive in a tech-driven world.

Chapter 2. Remote Work and Flexible Schedules

2.1. The Rise of Remote Work

Remote work has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, evolving from an occasional perk to a fundamental aspect of the modern work landscape. This transformation has been fueled by advancements in technology, changes in employee expectations, and the global nature of today’s businesses.

Remote Work Before the Digital Age

Before the digital age, remote work primarily referred to a limited set of professions, such as freelance writers or consultants, who could carry out their tasks from anywhere. However, for most workers, the physical office was a non-negotiable part of their job.

The Digital Revolution

The advent of the internet and the proliferation of digital tools dramatically changed the remote work landscape. It became possible for a wider range of professionals to perform their duties from locations of their choosing. This digital revolution led to the rise of telecommuting, enabling individuals to work from home, cafes, or co-working spaces.

2.2. Remote Work and Performance

One of the most significant concerns surrounding remote work has been its impact on employee performance. Skeptics have often questioned whether employees can remain as productive and focused while working remotely as they would in a traditional office setting.

Measuring Performance

Measuring remote work performance is a nuanced task. It requires considering not only the quantity of work completed but also its quality. Key performance indicators (KPIs) must adapt to the remote work context and emphasize outcomes and results over mere presence.

The Evidence

Multiple studies have suggested that remote work can lead to increased productivity. Reduced commute times, fewer distractions from colleagues, and the ability to tailor one’s workspace to individual preferences can all contribute to higher efficiency.

2.3. Remote Work and Retention

Retention of talented employees is a critical concern for businesses. Losing valuable team members can be costly and disruptive to projects. Remote work can play a significant role in employee retention.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Offering remote work options can be an attractive benefit for employees. It allows them to achieve a better work-life balance, reduces the stress associated with commuting, and can accommodate personal circumstances such as family responsibilities.

Global Talent Pool

Remote work opens the door to a global talent pool. Businesses can tap into a diverse array of skills and perspectives, regardless of geographical boundaries. This access to talent can be a compelling reason for employees to stay with an organization.

2.4. Impact on Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is closely tied to employee retention and overall team morale. Understanding how remote work influences job satisfaction is crucial for businesses aiming to create a positive work environment.

Autonomy and Flexibility

Remote work often provides employees with a greater sense of autonomy and flexibility in managing their work. They can choose when and where they work, which can lead to increased job satisfaction.

Potential Downsides

However, remote work is not without its challenges. Feelings of isolation, the blurring of work-life boundaries, and the lack of in-person interaction can negatively impact job satisfaction for some individuals.

2.5. Office Work and Job Satisfaction

While remote work offers numerous advantages, it’s important to remember that the traditional office environment still holds value for many employees.

In-Person Collaboration

The office provides a space for spontaneous collaboration, brainstorming sessions, and face-to-face interactions. These in-person experiences can foster a sense of camaraderie and creativity that may be challenging to replicate remotely.

Hybrid Approaches

Many businesses are exploring hybrid work models that combine both remote and in-office work. This approach seeks to capture the benefits of each while mitigating their respective drawbacks.

2.6. Conclusion: The Future of Work Arrangements

Remote work has transitioned from a mere trend to an integral part of the contemporary work environment. Its influence on productivity, employee retention, and job satisfaction is intricate and multi-dimensional. As we progress through this report, we will investigate the changing dynamics of remote work and its correlation with the preferences and ambitions of the developer community.

Chapter 3. Online Learning and Professional Growth

In today’s fast-paced tech industry, the pursuit of knowledge and continuous learning are essential for developers to stay competitive and grow in their careers. This chapter explores the significant role that online learning plays in fostering professional growth among developers.

3.1. Continuous Learning Among Developers

Lifelong Learning Mindset

Developers understand that the technology landscape is constantly evolving. To remain relevant and valuable, they embrace a mindset of lifelong learning. This commitment to continuous improvement is a hallmark of successful developers.

Learning as an Investment

Many developers view learning as an investment in their future. They recognize that acquiring new skills and knowledge can lead to career advancement, higher earning potential, and more exciting job opportunities.

3.2. The Prevalence of Online Learning

The Digital Learning Revolution

Online learning platforms have revolutionized the way developers acquire new skills. These platforms offer a vast array of courses, tutorials, and resources, making it easier than ever to access high-quality educational content.

Learning on the Go

Online learning is incredibly flexible. Developers can choose when and where they study, allowing them to balance their professional development with work and personal commitments.

3.3. The Role of Employers in Supporting Learning

Employer-Sponsored Learning

Forward-thinking companies recognize the importance of supporting their employees’ learning journeys. Many provide access to online courses, certifications, and educational resources as part of their benefits package.

A Win-Win Scenario

Employers benefit from a highly skilled workforce that can tackle complex projects and adapt to emerging technologies. This support for employee growth can lead to increased job satisfaction and retention.

3.4. The Impact on Job Satisfaction

Skill Acquisition and Job Satisfaction

Developers who actively engage in onlinelearning often report higher job satisfaction. Acquiring new skills not only makes their work more interesting but also opens doors to exciting projects and challenges.

Confidence and Competence

As developers expand their skill sets through online learning, they gain confidence in their abilities. This increased confidence can lead to a sense of fulfillment and career contentment.

3.5. The Importance of Growth Resources

Beyond Courses

While online courses are valuable, growth resources extend beyond structured lessons. Developers also rely on blogs, forums, open-source projects, and mentorship to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Building a Toolkit

Developers curate a toolkit of resources that align with their specific career goals. This toolkit evolves over time, reflecting changes in technology and industry trends.

3.6. Conclusion: Nurturing Developer Growth

Online learning has become an integral part of the developer’s journey. It empowers developers to embrace continuous learning, adapt to industry changes, and enhance their job satisfaction. In the following chapters, we’ll explore more aspects of developer growth and the factors that contribute to successful careers in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Chapter 4. The Path to Becoming an Engineering Manager

The journey from being a skilled developer to becoming an effective engineering manager is a career aspiration for many in the tech industry. In this chapter, we’ll delve into the various aspects of this transition and what it takes to chart the course to leadership.

4.1. Developers’ Aspirations to Become Managers

Ambitions in Leadership

As developers gain experience, they often contemplate taking on leadership roles. The desire to lead, mentor, and guide engineering teams is a common aspiration.

Balancing Technical and Managerial Skills

Transitioning to an engineering manager role requires a careful balance of technical prowess and interpersonal skills. Aspiring managers need to be proficient in both areas.

4.2. The Desire for Clarity in Promotion Paths

Navigating Career Progression

Many developers seek clear promotion paths within their organizations. They want to understand the milestones, expectations, and skills required to advance their careers.

The Role of Mentorship

Mentorship programs play a crucial role in clarifying promotion paths. Experienced managers can provide guidance and insights to those on the journey to leadership.

4.3. The Link Between Awareness and Satisfaction

Understanding Career Trajectories

Developers who are aware of potential career paths within their companies tend to be more satisfied with their jobs. Clarity about future opportunities can boost motivation.

Communicating Expectations

Employers and managers should communicate clearly about career trajectories and advancement criteria. This transparency fosters a sense of purpose and commitment among developers.

4.4. Senior Developers’ Expectations

The Senior Developer Role

Before transitioning to a management role, developers often aim to reach the senior developer level. This role signifies a high level of expertise and is a stepping stone to leadership.

Continuing to Learn

Even as senior developers, individuals value opportunities for growth and learning. Employers should provide avenues for skill development and advancement.

4.5. The Role of Pair Programming

Skill Development Through Collaboration

Pair programming isn’t just a practice for junior developers; it benefits developers at all levels. Seniors can use it to share knowledge and mentor juniors.

Building Leadership Skills

Working closely with others while pair programming enhances interpersonal skills. These skills are invaluable for those aspiring to leadership positions.

4.6. Conclusion: Charting the Course to Leadership

Becoming an engineering manager is a significant career move that demands a blend of technical acumen and people skills. Developers aspiring to leadership roles should seek mentorship, communicate their career expectations, and continue honing their skills. In the next chapters, we’ll explore different facets of the tech industry and the skills needed to excel at each stage of your career journey.

Chapter 5. The Role of People Skills in Engineering Teams

In the ever-evolving realm of software development, possessing technical proficiency alone does not guarantee success. Equally crucial is the capacity to adeptly manage the complexities of human interaction. In this section, we will delve into the pivotal role of interpersonal skills in engineering teams and their contribution to achieving overall success.

5.1. The Importance of Soft Skills in Managers

Leadership Beyond Code

Effective engineering managers must possess a strong set of soft skills, such as communication, empathy, and conflict resolution. These skills are essential for leading and motivating teams.

A Balancing Act

Possessing technical expertise may open opportunities for you, but your interpersonal skills ensure longevity in the role. A harmonious blend of technical acumen and people skills is crucial to thriving as a practical engineering manager.

5.2. Characteristics of Great Engineering Managers

Traits That Shine

Exceptional engineering managers exhibit traits like adaptability, active listening, and the ability to foster a collaborative environment. These qualities inspire trust and respect.

Navigating Challenges

Engineering managers often face complex challenges, from resolving team conflicts to mediating between technical and non-technical stakeholders. Strong people skills enable them to handle these situations effectively.

5.3. Empowering Teams and Building Relationships

Empowering Through Support

A manager’s role isn’t just to assign tasks but to empower team members to excel. Effective managers use their people skills to provide guidance, support, and mentorship.

Building Strong Relationships

Trust and camaraderie among team members are the hallmarks of a successful engineering team. Managers with strong people skills foster an environment where relationships thrive.

5.4. The Google Example: People Skills and Success

Lessons from Google

Google’s Project Aristotle, which aimed to identify the factors contributing to team success, found that psychological safety and a sense of belonging were critical. These factors are deeply intertwined with people skills.

Psychological Safety

Teams where individuals feel safe to take risks and voice their opinions perform better. Great engineering managers create this safety through their interpersonal skills.

5.5. Expectations of Senior Developers

Senior Developers as Role Models

As developers progress in their careers, they look up to their managers for guidance and mentorship. Senior developers have high expectations of their managers in terms of people skills.

Nurturing Future Leaders

Senior developers are often on the path to leadership themselves. Managers with strong people skills set an example and prepare the next generation of leaders.

5.6. Conclusion: Cultivating Leadership Skills

In the ever-evolving landscape of engineering teams, the ability to lead, inspire, and connect with others is paramount. The role of an engineering manager is not just to oversee projects but to empower their team members, build strong relationships, and create an environment where everyone can thrive. In the following chapters, we’ll explore more facets of the developer world and the skills that lead to success in each domain.

Chapter 6. The Impact of Work Culture on Developer Preferences

In the intricate ecosystem of software development, one often overlooked but profoundly influential element is work culture. It isn’t just the projects or technologies that attract developers to a company; it’s the intangible aspects of work culture that can significantly shape their preferences. In this chapter, we delve into how work culture influences developer choices and why it matters.

6.1. Work Culture’s Influence on Job Choices

Beyond the Job Description

When developers assess potential employers, they consider not only the technical aspects of a role but also the cultural elements. A company’s work culture can be the deciding factor in accepting or rejecting an offer.

Alignment with Values

Developers seek workplaces where their values align with those of the company. A culture that fosters innovation, inclusion, and work-life balance can be a strong magnet.

6.2. Defining a Good Work Culture

The Art of Inclusion

An inclusive culture ensures that every team member feels heard, respected, and valued. It promotes diversity and encourages individuals to bring their unique perspectives to the table.

A Growth-Oriented Atmosphere

A culture that emphasizes continuous learning and professional growth is a powerful attractor. Developers want to know they’ll have opportunities to enhance their skills and advance their careers.

6.3. Factors that Define Dream Employers

The Google Factor

Companies like Google have set a precedent for cultivating enviable work cultures. Their emphasis on innovation, creativity, and employee well-being has made them dream employers for many developers.

Balancing Work and Life

A healthy work-life balance is highly coveted. Developers are increasingly seeking companies that respect their personal time and well-being.

6.4. Diversity and Work Culture

The Role of Diversity

Diverse teams are more innovative and effective. Developers often prioritize organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, recognizing that diverse perspectives lead to better solutions.

Inclusive Workplaces

Inclusivity goes beyond numbers; it’s about creating environments where every individual, regardless of their background, feels valued and included.

6.5. Conclusion: Creating the Ideal Work Environment

Developers are not just seeking jobs; they’re looking for work environments that nurture their growth, align with their values, and promote well-being. In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, companies that prioritize and cultivate a positive work culture will continue to be the first choice for top talent. As we progress through this report, we will explore more dimensions of the developer world and the factors that influence it.

Chapter 7. The Commute Dilemma: Salary vs. Travel Time

In the quest for a fulfilling career, developers often face a pivotal decision that can significantly impact their lives: the choice between a long, arduous commute and a job that offers higher compensation. This chapter explores the intricate relationship between commute time and salary, shedding light on the considerations developers must weigh when making this critical decision.

7.1. The Relationship Between Commute and Compensation

The Commute Premium

In some cases, developers may opt for roles with longer commutes due to the promise of higher salaries. This “commute premium” can be an enticing factor, especially when financial goals are a top priority.

The Opportunity Cost

However, it’s essential to consider the opportunity cost associated with long commutes. The time spent traveling could otherwise be allocated to personal activities, professional growth, or even additional freelance work.

7.2. Commute and Work-Life Balance

The Toll on Work-Life Balance

Long commutes can take a toll on work-life balance. The stress and exhaustion of daily travel can lead to burnout and negatively impact a developer’s well-being.

Flexibility and Remote Work

The rise of remote work options has allowed developers to seek roles that offer competitive compensation without the burden of lengthy commutes. This shift has revolutionized the balance between salary and travel time.

7.3. Gender Disparities in Compensation Expectations

The Gender Gap

Studies have shown that gender disparities in compensation can influence commute decisions. In some cases, female developers may prioritize roles with shorter commutes due to various factors, including family responsibilities.

Bridging the Gap

Addressing gender pay gaps and promoting equitable compensation can empower all developers to make commute decisions based on their preferences and career goals rather than external pressures.

7.4. The Cultural Impact of Long Commutes

Cultural Perspectives

The significance of commute time can vary across cultures. In some regions, longer commutes may be perceived as a testament to dedication and work ethic, while in others, it may be seen as an unnecessary burden.

Embracing Diversity

Companies that recognize and respect cultural differences related to commute choices can create a more inclusive work environment, enabling developers to make decisions that align with their values.

7.5. Conclusion: Balancing Work and Travel

The commute dilemma represents a multifaceted challenge for developers. Balancing salary expectations with commute time, ensuring equitable compensation for all, and respecting cultural differences are vital steps toward creating an environment where developers can thrive without compromising their well-being. As the landscape of work continues to evolve, striking this balance becomes increasingly crucial for both developers and their employers.

Chapter 8. Testing Strategies and Success

In the dynamic world of software development, testing strategies play a pivotal role in ensuring the quality, reliability, and success of a project. This chapter delves into the multifaceted realm of testing and its profound impact on the daily endeavors of developers.

8.1. The Use of Test Driven Development (TDD)

TDD Basics

Test Driven Development (TDD) is a methodology that places testing at the forefront of the development process. It involves writing tests for a feature before writing the feature itself. This approach promotes a structured and systematic development cycle.

Ensuring Code Integrity

TDD acts as a safeguard against regressions by continually testing existing code as new features are added or modified. This minimizes the chances of introducing bugs and ensures code integrity.

8.2. TDD’s Influence on Daily Success

Rapid Feedback

One of the key advantages of TDD is the rapid feedback it provides. Developers receive immediate notifications if a change breaks existing functionality, allowing for quick resolution and preventing issues from accumulating.

Improved Collaboration

TDD fosters collaboration among team members. Test cases serve as documentation, making it easier for different developers to understand and contribute to the codebase.

8.3. The Correlation Between Testing and Idea Implementation

Translating Ideas into Reality

Testing is the bridge that transforms conceptualized ideas into tangible software. It verifies whether the implemented code aligns with the intended functionality.

Agile Development

Testing supports agile development methodologies by enabling developers to iterate on ideas swiftly. It allows for incremental progress, ensuring that each step contributes to the overall success of the project.

8.4. The Role of Testing in Remote Teams

Remote Collaboration

In the era of remote work, testing becomes even more critical. Distributed teams rely on comprehensive testing to maintain code quality, as face-to-face communication may be limited.

Test Automation

To accommodate remote work, many teams embrace test automation. Automated tests can run continuously, providing assurance that code changes do not introduce defects.

8.5. Conclusion: Testing’s Impact on Progress

Testing is not a mere formality but a fundamental aspect of software development. It influences the success of projects, the efficiency of teams, and the satisfaction of end-users. By embracing rigorous testing strategies and adapting them to the evolving landscape of remote work, developers can enhance the quality and reliability of their code, ultimately contributing to the success of their organizations and projects.

Chapter 9. The Power of Pair Programming

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, collaboration and innovation are paramount. Pair programming, a practice where two developers work together on the same code, offers a dynamic approach to problem-solving and code creation. This chapter explores the significance of pair programming and its influence on the success of development teams.

9.1. The Prevalence of Pair Programming

A Collaborative Practice

Pair programming is more than a trendy buzzword; it’s a time-tested method embraced by many successful development teams. It involves two developers, often referred to as the “driver” and the “navigator,” working together on the same task.

Enhancing Code Quality

Pair programming is known for its ability to enhance code quality. When two minds collaborate, they bring a diverse set of perspectives to the table, reducing the chances of overlooking errors or design flaws.

9.2. Pair Programming and Speed of Idea Implementation

Accelerated Development

Pair programming accelerates the development process. The synergy between developers often results in quicker problem-solving, faster code writing, and more efficient idea implementation.

Learning and Skill Transfer

It’s also an effective way to facilitate learning and skill transfer within a team. Junior developers can learn from their more experienced counterparts, leading to a well-rounded and capable workforce.

9.3. Pair Programming and Sense of Success

Shared Responsibility

Pair programming cultivates a shared sense of responsibility. Developers collaboratively take ownership of the code they produce, which can lead to increased satisfaction and a stronger sense of accomplishment.

Problem Solving

Two heads are better than one when it comes to tackling complex problems. Pair programming fosters a problem-solving culture, where challenges are met with creativity and teamwork.

9.4. Pair Programming and Testing Strategies

Continuous Testing

In the realm of testing, pair programming ensures continuous examination of code. Developers can test their work in real-time, catching issues early in the development process.

Reduced Bugs

Fewer bugs and defects make their way into the final product when pair programming is part of the workflow. This translates into reduced maintenance efforts and happier end-users.

9.5. Conclusion: Collaborative Coding for Success

Pair programming is more than a development methodology; it’s a philosophy that promotes collaboration, quality, and continuous learning. By harnessing the power of two minds working in tandem, development teams can accelerate their projects, produce higher-quality code, and foster a culture of shared responsibility. In the ever-competitive landscape of software development, pair programming is a valuable tool for success.

Chapter 10. Conclusion

As we conclude this comprehensive exploration of developer trends and the dynamics that shape modern engineering teams, it’s essential to reflect on the key takeaways and ponder the future of developer work habits.

10.1. Key Takeaways

In this article, we’ve delved into various aspects of the developer landscape, from the rise of remote work and flexible schedules to the importance of soft skills in engineering managers. Let’s recap some key takeaways:

  • Remote Work is Here to Stay: Remote work has become a prominent feature of the modern workplace. It offers benefits in terms of flexibility, job satisfaction, and retention.
  • Continuous Learning Matters: Developers thrive in environments that support continuous learning and provide access to online resources.
  • Effective Leadership is Crucial: Soft skills, such as empathy, communication, and team empowerment, are vital for engineering managers.
  • Work Culture Defines Success: A good work culture plays a pivotal role in attracting and retaining top talent.
  • Balancing Commute and Compensation: Commute time can impact job satisfaction, and companies should consider this when compensating employees.
  • Testing and Collaboration are Key: Strategies like Test Driven Development (TDD) and Pair Programming significantly impact code quality and success.

10.2. The Future of Developer Work Habits

Looking ahead, it’s clear that the software development landscape will continue to evolve. Some trends and predictions for the future include:

  • Hybrid Work Models: A blend of remote and in-office work is likely to persist, offering developers flexibility.
  • Lifelong Learning: Developers will need to embrace continuous learning to stay relevant in a rapidly changing field.
  • Leadership Development: Aspiring engineering managers will seek clearer paths to leadership roles and emphasize soft skills.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Companies will prioritize creating inclusive work cultures to attract diverse talent.
  • Sustainable Commuting: Organizations will explore sustainable commuting options and consider their impact on employees.

10.3. Closing Remarks

In closing, Codility’s Developer Report 2019 has shed light on critical aspects of the developer experience. It’s evident that strong engineering teams are the backbone of successful software development. As the landscape continues to shift, adaptability, collaboration, and a commitment to learning will remain at the core of developer work habits. We thank you for joining us on this insightful journey, and we look forward to witnessing the bright future of the engineering world.

Here are some valuable statistics and insights:

  1. Remote Work Trends:
    • 61% of developers who currently work remotely want to continue doing so.
    • 46% of developers working in a traditional office express a desire to work remotely in the future.
    • Remote work is associated with higher job satisfaction.
    • Google’s research shows no significant difference in effectiveness, performance ratings, or promotion frequency between distributed and in-office teams.
  2. Online Learning:
    • 90% of developers admit to learning a new language, framework, or tool outside of their formal education.
    • 86% of developers rely on online learning sources for their professional growth.
    • 30% of developers report that their employers do not support them in improving their technical skills.
  3. Career Goals:
    • 81% of developers, regardless of seniority, express interest in becoming Engineering Managers in the future.
    • Developers practicing Pair Programming are more likely to aspire to become Engineering Managers.
  4. Importance of Work Culture:
    • Work culture is the most important factor for developers when choosing an employer, followed by professional growth opportunities and staying up-to-date with the latest technology.
    • Dream employers for developers often include companies known for their strong work culture and innovation, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook.
  5. Commute and Compensation:
    • Developers who commute more than an hour to work expect to be paid 25% more on average.
    • Approximately 27% of developers would never consider a job with a long commute, regardless of compensation.
  6. Sense of Success:
    • 78% of developers report feeling a sense of success at work weekly.
    • Developers who practice Test Driven Development (TDD) or pair programming tend to experience a sense of success more frequently.
  7. Testing Practices:
    • TDD appears to contribute to faster idea implementation and a higher sense of success among developers.
    • Pair programming is associated with faster idea implementation and a more frequent sense of success.
    • Developers who pair program are more likely to practice TDD.

These statistics provide insights into developer preferences, work habits, and factors that influence their career choices and job satisfaction.

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