How to measure the productivity of a software developer has been an ongoing debate for years.
They studied professional programmers with an average of 7 years’ experience and found that the ratio of initial coding time between the best and worst programmers was about 20 to 1; the ratio of debugging times over 25 to 1; of program size 5 to 1; and of program execution speed about 10 to 1. They found no relationship between a programmer’s amount of experience and code quality or productivity. (Steve McConnell, Rapid Development)
Consider both points above together – your coworker codes 25 function points in one day, but they’re all simple validations (if text box “a” is not a date, throw an error…)
In the same day, you stared at the screen for six hours, whiteboarded a lot, then rewrote one line and deleted fifteen other lines, making a major part of the data processing engine faster by two orders of magnitude.
So he wrote 650 lines and 25 function points, you wrote *negative* fourteen lines of code and no new function points.
Who’s “better” ? (Joel On Software Forum)
J.R.R. Tolkien, in The Lord of the Rings, was so kind as to take some time to explain, through the words of Gimli the dwarf, the most complex and marvellous part of a software developer’s work.
We would tend these glades of flowering stone, not quarry them. With cautious skill, tap by tap – a small chip of rock and no more, perhaps, in a whole anxious day – so we could work, and as the years went by, we should open up new ways, and display far chambers that are still dark, glimpsed only as a void beyond fissures in the rock.