That a great idea!  But who is to judge my code?  My boss who is not a
programmer?  Some accountant that has no appreciation or knowledge of our
ART!  My fellow programmers?  ( That would really hit their productivity.)
Do we spend money on an outside consultant to review our code and rank us.
(That is throwing good money, that I can use as bonuses, after bad.)  If the
company is happy with the programmers output, the software is running day in
and day out with out interruptions,  and your fellow programmers work well
together, then you have a good staff.  If you are falling behind, not
meeting dead lines, spending a whole lot of time putting out fires, then it
is time to look at new blood.

To measure programmers productivity, look at the end results.  If one
programmer in a team is not measuring up, the team will let management know.

Christopher K. Bipes
Sr. Programmer/Analyst
CrossCheck, Inc.
6119 State Farm Drive   Phone: 707 586-0551 x 1102
Rohnert Park CA  94928  Fax: 707 586-1884

If consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, only geniuses work here.
Karen Herbelin - Readers Digest 3/2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Buck Calabro []
Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 7:44 AM
Subject: RE: programmer productivity.

Mike Pantzopoulos wrote:

>The point being that an elegant solution 
>produced a better result than a zillion 
>lines of code, or a zillion iterations of the 
>same code.

Mike,  This is very well said, but too many programmers reject metrics out
of hand by invoking the "Programming is Art"  battle cry.  Let's say that
you own your own programming business and you want to implement your
philosophy: "Elegant is better."  You want to reward those programmers who
put forward the more elegant solutions, right?

Keeping with the "art" philosophy, professional wine tasters are dealing
with completely subjective topics, yet they can rank a wine on several
elements blindly and repeatedly and come up with similar (if not identical!)
numerical scores.  They have rules they follow, and it's not a surprise that
several wine experts rank the same wines in pretty much the same order.

Thinking along positive lines, wouldn't it be better if we submit guidelines
that favour us (and our art) rather than wait for the accountants to simply
measure debugged, tested lines of code per day?

That's why I mentioned program metrics.  Like wine, you measure individual
attributes of the program.  I believe that you can indeed capture the
"elegance component" and assign a numerical score by inspecting the source
code.  I'm somewhat surprised at the lack of comment in that regard, but
perhaps there simply isn't anybody outside the Ivory Towers of Education &
Research who have ever used program metrics...

Buck Calabro
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