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Re: CVS and assesment
Re: CVS and assesment
Mon, 4 Jun 2001 21:09:56 -0400
On Mon, Jun 04, 2001 at 04:44:34PM +0100, Thomas Tuft Muller wrote:
> I fail to see why some(?) programmers are so reluctant to have their work
> analyzed and assessed.
Because (usually) we *can* resist it. Peons doing data entry
have been subject to keystroke monitoring and such dehumanizing
"management" techniques for years, but (unless they're unionized)
have had no recourse. Programmers are in a better bargaining
position (or have been until the last few months).
Besides repugnance on general principles, my concerns would be,
in no particular order:
- Do the metrics measure quality of work, or merely quantity?
In other words, will I be penalized for the time and effort
it takes to come up with a *good* design, implement it with
*good* code, test thoroughly, and write *good* documentation,
instead of just blasting out any old junk to keep my
lines/week up to snuff?
- As someone else mentioned, whatever the standard (naming
schemes, comments, formatting, etc.), it occasionally makes
more sense to violate it. Such a mechanical scheme will flag
people for this. Will management be receptive to peoples'
arguments, on a case-by-case basis, as to why it seemed wiser
to break a given rule; or will they simply say "follow the
rules, dammit" even when that leads to inferior results?
> I'm a programmer myself, and I'm pretty sure that such a tool
> could benefit good programmers and maybe expose the bad seeds.
"Good" as defined by the metrics used. I've usually been able to
recognize "bad seeds" in the teams I've been a member of. If
management can't, tools like this won't help them.
This is like IQ, which just keeps getting more discredited as a
measure of intelligence (whatever that is) as the years go by.
> Sound competion with fellow workers has never hurt anyone.
Since when is a climate of fear conducive to morale, or to
productivity -- especially in a task as creative as programming?
> I mean, a lot of
> employees out there have their work scrutinized and analyzed every day. Why
> should we be any different?
Why should we *not* be, if we have the clout to demand better
> Do we think we are irreplaceable no matter how
> much and what we actually do?
Of course not. Neither are the managers, no matter how awful
they are. When someone comes up with a metric that can fix
*that* problem, and agrees to abide by its results, I'll be more
willing to accept the metric he wants to apply to his
subordinates, ie. me.
> Programmers constitute a very arcane society and I think a lot of companies
> would like to be able to assess the quality of the Software Development
> department as well as they do for other departments.
A real problem. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I don't
think this is it.
> I think (good) programmers
> should be the first in line for deploying tools and processes for assessing
> their own work. Or are we too scared?
Yes, I'm scared of this stuff. I'm afraid of being made to look
bad, compared to people who really *are* bad programmers (or
mediocre at best), by metrics that can't measure quality. And
I'm afraid of pointy-haired managers who'll take the latest fad
in programming metrics as gospel, and use them as a cheap and
easy substitute for doing their own jobs properly.
| | /\
|-_|/ > Eric Siegerman, Toronto, Ont. address@hidden
| | /
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not
necessarily a good idea.
- RFC 1925 (quoting an unnamed source)