Sunday, December 29, 2013

How Do You Measure Programmers' Productivity

I love this quote from Len Shustek's article for The Computer Museum on MacPaint and QuickDraw:
How do you measure programmer productivity?
When the Lisa team was pushing to finalize their software in 1982, project managers started requiring programmers to submit weekly forms reporting on the number of lines of code they had written. Bill Atkinson thought that was silly. For the week in which he had rewritten QuickDraw’s region calculation routines to be six times faster and 2000 lines shorter, he put “-2000″ on the form. After a few more weeks the managers stopped asking him to fill out the form, and he gladly complied.
 I was going to say it reminded me of how Adobe had started charging developers per centimeter of  Actionscript code, but then remembered that was an April Fools. I guess one that made an impression.

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