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To overcome the ever-growing demand for software, software development organizations strive to enhance the productivity of their developers. But what does productivity mean in the context of software development? A substantial amount of work on developer productivity has been undertaken over the past four decades. The majority of this work considered productivity from a top-down perspective (the manager view) in terms of the artifacts and code created per unit of time. Common examples of such productivity measures are the lines of source code modified per hour, the resolution time for modification requests, or function points created per month. These productivity measures focus on a single, output-oriented factor for quantifying productivity, and do not take into account developers’ individual work roles, practices and other factors that might affect their productivity, such as work fragmentation, the tools used, or the work/office environment. In our research, we investigated how productivity could be quantified from the bottom-up, following a mixed-methods approach that involved more than 800 software developers. By investigating developers’ individual productivity, it is possible to better understand the individual work habits and patterns, how they relate to the productivity perceptions and also which factors are most relevant for a developer’s productivity.
- Developers’ Diverging Perceptions of Productivity
André N. Meyer
Gail C. Murphy
- Chapter 12
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