Developer Productivity


Satisfaction (and well being)

These qualities are often best captured with surveys. To assess the satisfaction dimension, you might measure the following:

  • Employee satisfaction. The degree of satisfaction among employees, and whether they would recommend their team to others.
  • Developer efficacy. Whether developers have the tools and resources they need to get their work done.
  • Burnout. Exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged workplace stress.


Performance is often best evaluated as outcomes instead of output. Example metrics to capture the performance dimension include:

  • Quality. Reliability, absence of bugs, ongoing service health.
  • Impact. Customer satisfaction, customer adoption and retention, feature usage, cost reduction.


A well-designed engineering system, however, will help in capturing activity metrics along different phases of the software development life cycle and quantify developer activity at scale. Some of the developer activities that can be measured and quantified relatively easily are:

  • Design and coding. Volume or count of design documents and specs, work items, pull requests, commits, and code reviews.
  • Continuous integration and deployment. Count of build, test, deployment/release, and infrastructure utilization.
  • Operational activity. Count or volume of incidents/issues and distribution based on their severities, on-call participation, and incident mitigation.

Communication and collaboration

The following are examples of metrics that may be used as proxies to measure communication, collaboration, and coordination:

  • Discoverability of documentation and expertise.
  • How quickly work is integrated.
  • Quality of reviews of work contributed by team members.
  • Network metrics that show who is connected to whom and how.
  • Onboarding time for and experience of new members.

Efficiency and flow

Some example metrics to capture the efficiency and flow dimension are:

  • Number of handoffs in a process; number of handoffs across different teams in a process.
  • Perceived ability to stay in flow and complete work.
  • Interruptions: quantity, timing, how spaced, impact on development work and flow.
  • Time measures through a system: total time, value-added time, wait time.

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