Measuring Long-Term Productivity: The Developer’s Legacy Index
Measuring a programmer’s productivity is a problem as old as the software industry itself. Number of worked hours? More productive people should need fewer hours, not more. Number of completed tasks? Not all tasks are equally hard. Number of introduced bugs? Bugs are not necessarily the programmer’s fault, and besides, what constitutes a bug anyway? The closest we’ve ever got to measure a developer’s productivity is lines of code, and this has proven to be a poor metric because not all lines of code are equally valuable. However, if we could measure not just how much a developer writes but how lasting the impact of their code is, we’d have a sense of the long-term contribution of a developer. This is where the Developer’s Legacy Index comes in: a technique to process the vast amount of information contained within modern code repositories so as to produce a statistical analysis of the lasting effect of each developer’s contribution. With the Developer’s Legacy Index you’ll be able to understand who’s really pushing your team forward (and whether you need to bring back that developer that left six months ago).