Craig Mattson (Personal Website)
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Key Performance Indicators for Programmers? (08/01/2010 12:50:45 PM)

Another Friday passing by ... slowly and I'm at work trying to determine what Key Performance Indicators apply to programmers. Maybe I can get some suggestions? Here is my list so far (feel free to agree / disagree - and keep in mind these really need to be tangible).

  1. Ratio of Defect / Bug Fixes versus Change Requests;
  2. Efficiency of code versus hours of development;
  3. Problems solved within allocated timeframe;
  4. Defect / Bug Fixes related to implemented Change Requests;
  5. Number of regression issues, and;
  6. Application stability (calculated by server uptime);

There is some argument to Quality of Code, but the problem is - how is it measurable? Performance and efficiency may be identical (or close to) for varying code. How does one differentiate between what is quality code and what is not? One developer may use less lines of code but the code may be less readable? Another developer may put too many comments into code, name things properly so it is easier for other developers to understand? There is also the fact that not many HR Personnel at review time who understand code well enough to make that distinction. In fact, unless you have the code peer-reviewed by a third party organisation (which may also have confidentiality impact as well) - how do you justify? 

Anyway, I'm kind of keen to see what others use to measure KPI's particularly aligned with an industry where a developer is hired for initiative and knowledge in problem solving rather than their ability to remember a large number of key words. At the end of the day, it's how we solve the problem that is important; not whether we can code in Low-Level Assembly and solder together our own circuits to produce an electronic abacus.

Craig Mattson.

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