That question can send a chill down the spine of many young and aspiring engineering managers, and prompt a jaded sigh from old and weathered ones.
“Here we go again.” “Well, we can’t” is the most common reaction. “At least not in any meaningful way”, another interjects.“Or in ways that aren’t counter productive”, someone adds. “It’s complicated.” So what is it about measurements in software development that is so complicated? Why is it that we can’t, or shouldn’t, measure the performance of our engineers? And what can we do instead? We were faced with these same questions when building our engineering team in EngageRocket, and in this article we will outline some of the things that we have found work, and some that don’t.
We will start by having a look at the most common pitfalls when setting out to measure software development in general, and individual performance in particular.