Measuring developer productivity via humans

Tim Cochran and I contributed an article to, which was published today. If you’re exploring developer productivity metrics, this article may offer some guidance. It outlines some key limitations of traditional metrics and suggests how qualitative metrics can provide the insights that leaders need. You can read the article here.

In our work, we’ve frequently observed a scenario where engineering leaders use metrics like lead time, deployment frequency, and change failure rate to understand developer productivity — but end up finding them lacking.

There’s a better approach to measuring developer productivity. It focuses on capturing insights from developers themselves, rather than solely relying on basic measures of speed and output. This approach is called qualitative measurement, and we’ve seen firsthand the dramatically improved understanding of developer productivity that it provides.

Our article serves as a primer on this approach, derived from our experience helping many organizations on this journey. It provides a definition of qualitative metrics and how to advocate for them, as well as practical guidance on how to capture, track, and utilize this data.

Go here on to read the full article.

March 19, 2024

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