Engineering Enablement
Engineering Enablement Podcast
How Google Measures Developer Productivity | Ciera Jaspan, Collin Green (Google)

How Google Measures Developer Productivity | Ciera Jaspan, Collin Green (Google)

An inside look on how the Engineering Productivity Research team works, how they measure developer productivity, and more.

This week we’re joined by Ciera Jaspan and Collin Green, who lead the Engineering Productivity Research team at Google. Ciera and Collin have written several papers from studies they’ve conducted, and this discussion covers the insights from their research as well as their work more broadly at Google.

Discussion points:

  • (1:19) About the Engineering Productivity Research team

  • (3:57) How the team interacts with the rest of the organization

  • (5:58) The different backgrounds included on the team

  • (13:11) How Google measures developer productivity

  • (18:54) Evaluating discrepancies between qualitative and quantitative data 

  • (28:40) Google’s quarterly developer survey

  • (32:02) Distributing survey results back to the organization 

  • (40:25) Misunderstandings about surveys

  • (43:51) Ciera and Collin’s paper on why measuring productivity is difficult

  • (50:35) Reductionist metrics for measuring productivity

  • (55:26) Examples of other fields that have struggled with measurement

  • (59:00) Google’s study on measuring technical debt

  • (1:08:05) Human judgment in measurement

Mentions and links:

  • Follow Ciera and Collin on LinkedIn

  • A Human-Centered Approach to Measuring Developer Productivity - Paper, Abi’s summary

  • Enabling the Study of Software Development with Cross-Tool Logs - Paper

  • Defining, Measuring, and Managing Tech Debt - Paper, Abi’s summary

  • Google’s Goals, Signals, Metrics framework - Paper, Abi’s summary

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, or Google podcasts.

You can also find the full transcript here:

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