Monday, October 24, 2011

Software metrics - what every software engineer should know

Software metrics curriculum from SEI:

Quite often we get questions about what kind of metrics exist and how they should be used. Many companies look for specific kind of metrics or would just like to know how many they have/do not have.

I've usually steered my answer based on the curriculum from SEI's metrics course (available via the link below). The curriculum contains information about metrics for project managers, quality managers, etc. It is not complete, as it is only a curriculum, but it is a very good dictionary of what every software engineer should know about metrics.

IMHO: advanced software engineers should know something about the measurement theory as well, but that is a subject for a separate discussion.

My recommendation is to complement this reading with the standards:
- ISO/IEC 159393: Software and systems engineering - measurement processes
- ISO/IEC 25000 series
- ISO/IEC 9001: 2008 (Quality metrics)

For researchers: I recommend section III.
For companies: I recommend section I and II.

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