Measurable Programming

Posted by moodyharsh on 2016-06-30

“If it can’t be measured, it does not exist”

In music it is common to set the tempo, a number before starting to make
a composition. In painting this would be the canvas size. For films it is the
duration. These numbers are fundamentally, limits for convenience or style or for creative purposes.

It is very tragic that programmers have a tendency to wait till the deadlines,
till the limitations become obvious. Because of the limitations the actions also become
obvious. This leads to a false conclusion that deadlines are productive. It is the
limitations that propel productivity.

By having limitations of space, the grammar of action becomes obvious.

Here are a few numbers which can act as limitations for programming,

  1. Page Load time

< 600ms

  1. Memory Consumption

If a page consumes 1MB and the RAM of the machine is 1000MB then
that means the site can have a maximum of 1000 views per second.

Reducing memory is a very creative act !

  1. LOC / Day

Assuming a programmer reads or writes 5 lines per minute,
the upper limit of LOC / Day would be –

60 5 8
=> 2400

For 1 line per minute,

60 1 8
=> 480

  1. Function Point

This is a standard Software Engineering term.

Function Point = Avg(LOC / Function)

The word Function means a unit of Business requirements.
It can mean issue, fix, task, new widget …

The is highly project specific and programmer specific.

If the Function point is 300, then that means wrt the LOC calculations above,
a programmer can code 1.5 - 8 features per day.

This is compounded by expectation cost i.e, the feature needs more oomph
and in teams, communication cost.

Reducing LOC for a function is also a very creative act !


My numbers can be seen here