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Five Core Metrics: The Intelligence Behind Successful Software Management by Lawrence H. Putnam, Ware Myers

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Chapter 6. Estimating Size as a Measure of Functionality

“He’s still scratching his head,” said John, looking through the one-way mirror between the observation room and a programmer at work in front of a computer.

“Ho hum,” Phil exhaled noisily, “he must have lice up there.”

“No, he’s thinking. I’m sure of it,” John said. “His forehead is all wrinkled up.”

“Great, let me know when he pulls his ear.”

“He just touched his up-arrow key. That shows some result of his thinking.”

“Not really,” Phil retorted. “He just killed the screen saver.”

We could count the number of times a developer scratches his head or pulls his ear lobe, but such counts would be silly. They would not be a good metric of what his brain is putting out. In contrast, at the output ...

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