• Subject: Re: programmer productivity.
  • From: John Earl <johnearl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 15:56:41 -0800
  • Organization: The PowerTech Group

midrange wrote:

> I have been ask by accountants to provide them with a way to measure our
> programmers productivity.
> I know what I think is productive. fast accurate turnaround on projects.


It looks to me as if you've nailed the answer here, in the middle of your own

If you subscribe to the old adage that "What get's measured get's done", you 
to ask yourself "What is the thing that programmers do, that we value so
highly?"  (Write lines of code?  I think not!) A programmer's value to the
organization is their ability to quickly and clearly solve business problems.
The more they solve, and the fewer new problems they introduce along the way, 
higher their productivity.  Add extra points for the simplicity of the 
the clarity of communications, and the maintainability of the solution.

I would also submit that for any given programmer it should be quite clear
whether they solve more problems than they introduce, and whether they solve
enough problems in any given year to warrant continued employment.  Heck, if
you're not sure whether a programmer is worth their salary, I would bet heavily
that they are not.  A programmer is like so many other business people, they
solve problems that are generally tough to measure.  If they are successfull,
you'll clearly know.,  If they are not, they will have any number of plausible
sounding reasons why their solutions have not been implemented, but over time 
will see that their solutions are infrequently implemented, complex, error 
poorly documented, often misunderstood, and difficult to maintain.



John Earl                    johnearl@400security.com
The PowerTech Group      --> new number --> 253-872-7788
PowerLock Network Security   www.400security.com

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