Software metrics can be used effectively to judge the maintainability and architectural quality of a code base. Even more importantly, they can be used as canaries in a coal mine to warn early about dangerous accumulations of architectural and technical debt.
Alexander von Zitzewitz introduces some key metrics that every architect should know (e.g., average component dependency, propagation cost, structural debt index, and more). Then he talks about the journey to create a metric to measure maintainability and introduces a new metric maintainability level. This metric is promising because its value usually matches quite well the gut feeling of developers about the maintainability of their software systems. Therefore, it can be used to monitor code maintainability and as an early warning indicator if things move in the wrong direction.
Alexander von Zitzewitz is a serial entrepreneur in the software business and one of the founders of hello2morrow, an ISV specializing in static analysis tools that can enforce architecture and quality rules during development and maintenance of software systems. He’s worked in the industry since the early 1980s and focuses on the role of software architecture and technical quality on successful project outcomes. He moved from Germany to Massachusetts in 2008 to develop hello2morrow’s business in North America.
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