The Data for Metrics

Having explored the key questions that metrics can help you answer, the next step is to determine the specific data elements and the means to gather them. You want to find the key data elements in each area that meet the goals of being obtainable and understandable and of providing explanatory power. These data elements will be the building blocks for the subsequent metrics.

Data on Coder Skills and Contributions

To measure coder skills, you want to obtain data and key indicators for all of the obvious and not-so-obvious things coders do, as well as the variety of ways that coders interact with each other. The data should provide a full and well-rounded picture of all the skills that individual coders may possess and measure the key ways that coders contribute to software projects and software teams.


By productivity, I mean specifically the amount of work done, which is separate from the speed or quality of the work (both of which I’ll examine later). For coders, basic productivity will focus on the obvious things that coders do, namely coding, design and testing.

There are a number of ways you could try to measure coder productivity. As it pertains to writing code, for example, you could measure lines of code written (LOCs) or non-comment source statements written (NCSSs). You could track objects, functions, or methods implemented, or you could track other individual items created such as servlets or database tables. You could measure version control ...

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