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Agitating Thoughts & Ideas
A Software Metric You Can't Refuse - Software Management The Soprano Way
by Alberto Savoia
December 11, 2007
Using software metrics for managing developers is usually frowned upon. That's too bad because they sure make software management fast and easy - as demonstrated in the video "Metrics-Based Software Management - A Hands On Approach".


Note: This post, and the associated video, are meant to ridicule the idea of "Metrics-Based Software Management", NOT endorse it. A few too many people are taking it seriously. For my position on software metrics please read Testivus on Metrics.

My previous Artima post, "Software Metrics Don't Kill Project, Moronic Managers Kill Project", caused quite a stir. The split in the comments made it clear that there are still some people who doubt the legitimacy and usefulness of software metrics.

I can understand lazy and incompetent developers being afraid of having their work measured objectively. But, for the life of me, I can't imagine why someone with the superior brains and skills required to rise from a lowly programmer to the position of manager would not want to use metrics. Who are these metricophobics? Methinks that they are just spineless namby pambies who can't handle the truth and are afraid of having to take decisive management action based on actual facts and figures.

If you are one of those jelly-fish managers who indulges in touchy-feely employee reviews and gentle feedback based on abstract and highly-subjective criteria, you need to shape up or get out of software management altogether. We don't need you, and we don't want you!

How do you shape up? You can start by watching, and learning from, a real software manager in action (i.e. me).

In the following video, you can see how I use the time-tested C.R.A.P. software metric to handle a developer who refuses to play by the rules.

Watch it and learn. CAPISCE!

If you are ready to become a real manager, or a responsible developer, download Crap4j from, start to use it, and stop making excuses.

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About the Blogger

Alberto Savoia is founder and CTO at Agitar Software, and he has been life-long agitator and innovator in the area of software development and testing tools and technology. Alberto's software products have won a number of awards including: the JavaOne's Duke Award, Software Development Magazine's Productivity Award, Java Developer Journal's World Class Award, and Java World Editor's Choice Award. His current mission is to make developer unit testing a broadly adopted and standar industry practice rather than a rare exception. Before Agitar, Alberto worked at Google as the engineering executive in charge of the highly successful and profitable ads group. In October 1998, he cofounded and became CTO of Velogic/Keynote (NASD:KEYN), the pioneer and leading innovator in Internet performance and scalability testing. Prior to Velogic, Alberto had 13-year career at Sun Microsystems where his most recent positions were Founder and General Manager of the SunTest business unit, and Director of Software Technology Research at Sun Microsystems Laboratories.

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2007 Alberto Savoia. All rights reserved.

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