Using Data to Tune A Software Team

Business & Industry, Gramercy East (NY Hilton)
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Software engineers are familiar with the idea of instrumenting software programs to gather metrics on performance, resource consumption, and usability. The value of such metrics in helping to tune or improve software applications is well understood. This presentation introduces a new idea, namely how to “instrument” software teams to gather a variety of data and metrics that can be used to “tune” team performance and increase team success.

The presentation will cover how data-gathering and statistical analysis can be integrated into development processes and team-building, with relevance to both established and new software teams. The speaker will present real-world examples from his background in building and managing large and small teams at multiple organizations. The information and the ideas explored can be useful to managers and team members alike.

Topics covered will include:

  • Why Are Metrics Feared and Misunderstood?
  • The Purpose of Software Team Metrics
  • “Good” and “Bad” Metrics: Productivity, Precision, Innovation, Teamwork, Results
  • How To Instrument a Team to Gather Data
  • How To Turn Your Data into Useful Metrics
  • Techniques for Analyzing Software Team Metrics
  • Using Metrics to Tune Team Performance
  • Applying Statistical Analysis to Team Building
  • Steps and Tools for Getting Started

Jonathan Alexander

Vocalocity, Inc.

Jonathan Alexander is VP Engineering at Vocalocity, a leader in hosted VoIP for small businesses. Previously he built and managed software teams at vmSight which was acquired by Liquidware Labs, and Radnet which was acquired by Epiphany. He studied computer science at UCLA, and began his career writing software for author Michael Crichton. He is the author of Codermetrics: Analytics for Improving Software Teams, 2011 from O’Reilly.

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