• Subject: Re: RE: programmer productivity.
  • From: "alan shore" <SHOREA@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 10:32:20 -0500

My apologies to not answering before now. I have been out of the office on a 
course (mainframe). Which leads me to your answer. 
At this moment, I am working on quite a few different platforms --- IBM 
mainframe, HP UNIX, AS/400 to name a few. It can be very irksome trying to 
explain to someone, why I have to, in obtaining a solution to a request 
(problems included) 
1/. Analyze the request
2/. Estimate  the time the request should take to complete. AHA I hear people 
say, is'nt this the asnwer that the original request was asking for. The only 
way I can answer this is that my estimate is based on experience (and in some 
circumstatnces ) gut instinct. How close do I get with my estimate? The smaller 
projects, somewhat close 75 to 80 % of the time. The larger projects, tend to 
be nowhere near most of the time. Under and over estimating. If there was a 
clear definitive way of measuring what it would take to complete a project, I 
would gladly embrace it. 
Does how close my estimate to the actual reflect the programmers productivity? 
My answer to this would be NO. Many and differing unseen factors affect the the 
outcome of the project.
3/. Applying the change for the request - coding, procedural changes,
4/. Unit testing
5/. QA User acceptance testing
6/. Applying the changes to production.
The point of this reply was, 
Do I see resistance to the very ideas of metrics of any kind?
Answer YES. To a certain extent - myself included. I would love to be able to 
tell my boss/user/auditing department, how long something should take, but when 
I hear questions as to why a project on the AS/400 took so may 
hours/days/weeks, why does a "similar" project on the same/different platform 
take a different amount of time. AND the only way I can respond to this is by 
getting into the smallest detail, which can AND does take time (sometimes over 
days) why there is this difference, the tools that I try to use to make 
people/things more productive come back to bite me and make me LESS productive 
throgh no fault of my own. 
   
>>> Buck Calabro <buck.calabro@aptissoftware.com> 11/10 3:28 PM >>>
alan shore wrote:

>>>Plus, ask them why do they want to measure a 
>>>programmers productivity anyway.
>>
>>Wouldn't that be so they can see if they're getting their money's worth?  
>
>Reply - based on what? What are they using for a 
>measuring stick? Is this the old Catch-22.?

Hi Alan!  Sorry I wasn't clear (talk about productivity...)  It seems to me
a very legitimate question: "Say, we pay you $1 000 000 a year (wishful
thinking!) and we'd like to know if you are more productive than the fellow
next to you whom we pay half that."

Imagine two programmers, paid the same amount.  One responds to emails all
day and one grinds away at end user requests.  Isn't one more productive?
Shouldn't we be able to measure that somehow?  Fixing a hard number is
difficult to do; perhaps close management is the best answer.  If I fail to
do my assigned projects in the expected time, my manager should give me a
black mark.  In that case, the number of black marks is my measure of
productivity, I guess.

Here, there are a few people vehemently resistant to the very idea of
metrics of any kind.  These tend to dislike RPG IV and prefer S/36 RPG.
Have you seen the same?

Buck Calabro
Aptis; Albany, NY
"Nothing is so firmly believed as
 that which we least know" -- Michel Montaigne
Visit the Midrange archives at http://www.midrange.com 
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