Review: Codermetrics

Codermetrics - Analytics for Improving Software teams by Jonathan Alexander (O'Reilly) is a book about metrics for software developers and software development teams.  It is not about software quality but about the contribution of each individual to the software and the product. 

The book is organized into three parts. 

Part I talks about the concepts. It outlines the purpose of the metrics and then talks about how important it is to get the right data.  It drills into the kind of data that is relevant to each individual - based on the project that he works in and his responsibilities.  The book then moves on to describe the various data that can be used for the metrics like productivity, speed, accuracy, breadth, helpfulness, innovation and initiative.

Part II is about the metrics themselves.  These are categorized as Skill Metrics, Response Metrics and Value Metrics.  Skill Metrics is in turn sub-categorized as Offensive, Defensive and Precision Metrics.

The last part is about the processes - essentially how to use the metrics.

The author uses the analogy of American football in the entire book to illustrate his thoughts.  His real-life experiences has helped him with a wealth of information for the book.

While the book is quite useful in theory, it is arguable how much of it can be put to practice and the effort it takes to do that.  Perhaps a subset of the metrics can used as applicable.

The book does get dry when it gets into the nitty-gritty and thus may not make a great reading end to end (as I discovered)

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

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