Friday, March 02, 2007


Metrics and Developer Productivity

I have blogged on the need for metrics here and here and have even received wonderful insights from Todd Biske on other aspects that EAs should noodle. Awhile back, James Robertson commented without providing an answer. May I be so bold as to ask him what metrics would he use to measure developer productivity?

It is difficult at best to quantify developer productivity, yet this doesn't make the need to produce metrics go away. Of course, many agilists will simply refer to folks as enterprisey and go on the attack, respond with nomenclature and avoid proposing any solutions.

It is somewhat intuitive that measuring lines of code isn't elegant and is one of the evils practiced by process weenies in the 80's. The only thing worse is measure the notion of man-hours / FTE's or whatever term your enterprise favors as this minimally introduces a gender bias for all the wonderful women in IT who also serve dual duty as head of the household.

Is Smalltalk more productive than Java, probably not as no one has facts to support this. The same can be said of Java being more productive than Smalltalk. Anyway, I wonder if someone else has a better way of measuring without necessarily attacking the need to measure?

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