• Subject: RE: RE: programmer productivity.
  • From: "Pantzopoulos, Mike" <mikepantzopoulos@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 17:52:46 -0500

Title: RE: RE: programmer productivity.

I like these little debates. Far more interesting than finding out how the 3rd parameter in the QXYZLMN API works, or "HELP!! URGENT!! I compiled my program and it failed. Can anybody tell me what I've done wrong?".

The point about the painter was a bit tongue in cheek, and simply reflected the uncertainty of programming - is it a science or is it an art? If it's a science then metrics could and should be used. If it's an art, then metrics are ridiculous. Most places I've worked do not have the concept of a programmer as such. Perhaps I'm lucky, but most places I've been in in my working life have simply lumped the role into the analyst/programmer bucket. I once worked on an Arthur Andersen run project and they had the concept of coders who only coded. In those circumstances it might be useful to count lines of code, but then I'd argue that a program with 100 conditionals and 100 sequential statements is of a more complex nature than one of 200 sequential statements.

The argument about science or art is as old as the profession. The ability to conceptualize logic in your mind is an art. The ability to code syntax is the science. How do you measure the former?

By the way I don't believe these discussions should take place unless it's 6pm on a Friday night and the company bar has opened, and somebody has dialled for pizza.


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