Article review - The SPACE of Developer Productivity

Great article about developers productivity:
The SPACE of Developer Productivity
And my thoughts about it.

Most interesting insights for me:

  • There’s no universal developers productivity metric, it’s multi-dimensional space.
  • It’s important for developers to get access to their productivity metrics to reflect on them.
  • Joy and friendly environment is one of metrics that impact developers productivity, “don’t be too serious” is literally improve productivity.
  • Work to keep environment and culture healthy is often “invisible” and not measured (But it should be).
  • Team productivity is more important measurement than individual performance.
    • I heard that some company stop measure individual performance altogether and concentrate on team performance measurement.
  • SPACE - multidimensional framework for measuring productivity - Satisfaction, Performance, Activity, Efficiency
    • Code Reviews metrics can cover all five dimensions of SPACE framework.
    • When choose what to measure choose:
      • at least 3 metric from different dimensions
      • at least 1 metric to be perceived
    • Satisfaction - lead productivity metric
      • What to measure?
        • Whether developers recommend their team to others
        • Whether developers have tools resources
        • Burnout
    • Performance - hard to measure metric. Developer can write a lot of code, but it will be low quality code. High quality code can not deliver business value. etc.
      • What to measure?
        • reliability, absence of bugs, ongoing service health
        • customer satisfaction, customer adoption and retention, feature cost, cost reduction
    • Activity - almost impossible to comprehensively measure.
      • What to measure?
        • Volume of documents, pull requests, commits, code reviews
        • Count of builds, releases, IT infrastructure utilization
        • Count of incidents and distribution based on severity
    • Communication - Hard to measure because of “invisible” work
      • successful teams have high transparency, awareness about other team members activity and tasks priorities.
      • Because all that raise chances that people will be working on a right problem.
      • Contribution to team productivity can come at expense of individual productivity.
      • What to measure?
        • how easy to find documentation and expertise
        • How fast work getting integrated
        • quality of code reviews
        • metrics showing who contacted whom
        • on-boarding time for new members
    • Efficiency - have common metrics with DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) framework.
      • Positively correlated with satisfaction.
      • What to measure?
        • number of hand-offs in a process
        • perceived ability to stay in the flow
        • interruptions
        • waiting time
  • SPACE and SRE
    • number of incidents resolved by individual is only one of the important metrics.
      • because incident management is a team activity
    • metrics context is important, multidimensional view to metrics is important.
      • example of IM (incident management) metrics: number of incidents, severity of those, resolution time.
    • culture in SRE is important as much as proper tools
    • Metrics:
      • Satisfaction:
        • how good is IM process, escalation, routing and on-call activities
      • Performance:
        • monitoring systems, ability to detect issue fast, MTTR
      • Activity:
        • number of issue captured by monitoring, number of incident resolved (and their severity distribution)
      • Communication:
        • how people communicated during the incident.
      • Efficiency:
        • number of hops an incident has to take before being assigned.


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