The 4 Worst Software Metrics Agitating Developers

Bill Harding January 9, 2021

Bill Harding

CEO/Programmer, GitClear

Bill is driven by the challenge of how best to quantify valuable questions that defy quantification. It's possible this instinct may have been awakened in Bill at age 14, when he won a soft, stuffed bunny at the orthodontist for guessing the number of jelly beans in the gumball machine.


K said over 4 years ago

Issues resolved is definitely the most gamed metric I've seen of late. I left an organization that shipped most of it's work to another vendor as "application maintenance." Over the years those teams kept growing and so did the issues. We pointed out their same size ticket completion metrics were lower than acceptable compared to other teams, they responded by closing tickets prematurely or just not working them at all and submitting then with entropic 0 change commits. We pointed out their accuracy rate was abysmal, they responded by filing bugs as user stories, and sent out the most maddening email to @all come perf review time celebrating 0 defects, 1200% productivity increase YOY.

Definitely the most singularly useless, gameable metric in modern development.

Bill said over 4 years ago

Heh, I can't argue with your point that "issues resolved" is eminently game-able. But, personally, I don't believe any metric could possibly exceed the game-ability of commit count. If your developers know that you're using the metric, it quickly becomes worse than useless.

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