CTOs should Watch Out for these Metrics to Measure Developer's Performance


Let’s face it.

Software undergoes a series of testing and debugging before being launched into the market. Multiple back and forth happens from the system of developers to QAs to achieve an unmatched performance of software. However, code is not the only benchmark to assess for getting the optimum performance of a product.

Successful development of software heavily depends on developers. And by developers, we don’t mean their expertise or skills. But their productivity and performance on the product development. However, while there are multiple parameters to gauge the performance of software, there are lesser-known standards to understand the performance of developers while working on software development.

Why Metrics to Measure Developer’s Performance Matter?


The metrics to measure developers’ performance in the below section are easy to understand and assess. The assessment of these metrics listed here make it easy for CTOs, project managers, and SCRUM Masters to know the efficiency of their developers.

The goal with these metrics is not to micro-manage your developers but to analyze the loopholes and unproductive processes for better value out of your development processes. As you will track every quantifiable KPI, you will be able to properly measure the productivity of your team.

With proper analysis, you can plan your next projects in a better manner and predict the product lifecycles. When you begin applying these parameters practically in your processes, you can improve and upkeep the efficiency level in your team. In addition to this, you can know the strength and weaknesses of each of your developers for a particular metric and understand how you can guide them towards improvement.

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What are the Key Metrics to Measure Developer’s Performance?


In this article, we will walk you through a series of KPIs you can keep in mind to measure the overall throughput of your product development team. Identify the best metrics that are applicable to your project and understand the overall performance of your developers.

Lead Time:

When it comes to productivity, time can talk about the performance of your developers. Lead time is one of the important metrics to measure developer’s performance. Lead time is actually a time duration between the drafting of a proposal to the time of deployment.

How to Assess Lead Time?

While you can’t compare two projects to derive the performance, you can take into account your developers’ calibre and match their project lead time. You can assess it for individual developers or your overall team.

Quality over Quantity of Code:

It is a common misconception that a large number of codes determines the size of an application. Hence, in order to code a comprehensive program, code should be a metric to measure the performance of your developers, which is not the case. Your developers have to code qualitative code for modules rather than falling for the hype of programming a large number of lines.

How to Assess Quality Code?

In order to assess the performance of a developer, you can look at the QA debugging cycles. The lesser the debugging cycles and time, the more qualitative a code is.

On-time Delivery:

If you have a work collaboration tool for your product development team, you will be able to find out the productive hours taken by developers. The key is to identify the total time allocated to a particular sprint and the time taken to complete the sprint.

How to Assess Timely Delivery?

Presumably, if you have a proper team management tool in your organization, you can check tasks that the team has started working on. In addition to this, you can check the agile and SCRUM sprints to check the tasks completed and under backlog.

Sprint Goal Success Rate:

Your product development team might not be able to complete 100% of the tasks in a given sprint. However, that does not count as unproductive. Your team can still meet the standards of success threshold when the sprint goal is met with quality.

How to Assess Sprint Success?

When presenting a sprint, you should review the threshold that must meet the overall goal of a product.

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Frequency of Software Releases:

When it comes to DevOps and Agile product development, software release is one of the key metrics to measure developer’s performance. In such a case, the frequency of software releases can stamp the performance of a software developer.

How to Assess Frequency of Software Releases?

Using the KPI of software releases, you can track the frequency of software releases based on the monthly, quarterly, six-monthly time frame.

Defect Density:

When there are too many bugs in a QA’s report, you know that the efficiency of a code is low. The word that you are looking for is defect density. You can track the defect density of a code developed by a developer to know if the bars meet the expectations.

How to Assess Defect Density of a Code?

If you want to identify the defect density of a particular software developer, you can tabulate the defects of KLOC for assessing defect density. In order to calculate the percentage of code defect density, consider the number of defects identified before product release, which can be denoted by x. Now, consider the number of defects identified by users after the release.

Technical Debt:

Technical debt implies long-term efforts, including financial costs and temporal costs for a developer to address a specific developmental problem, the moment it arises.

How to Assess Technical Debt a Developer Incurs?

You can use the formula to quantify the technical debt ratio as known as TDR. TDR is a ratio of the cost of a software system–remediation cost–to that of the cost of developing the software.

Security Vulnerabilities:

Security vulnerabilities are the secret passage for attackers to sweep into your system and manipulate your software’s functionality or access the restricted data. When such vulnerabilities are present in the code, it usually means that you have a low quality of code.

How to Assess Developer’s Performance Amid Security Vulnerabilities?

Usually, security vulnerabilities can be inherited from a third-party or an open-source dependency used in the software. While there are multiple automated security scanning programs that can detect these vulnerabilities, you can also seek assistance from the API security tests guide to carry out a detailed check, validating the vulnerabilities created by developers.

Unit Test Coverage:

Unit test coverage is the percentage of code lines as well as code paths performed while unit testing of a component. Most tools can collect and calculate KPIs depending on the executable lines of source code other than counting the total lines, which can tell a lot about the performance of a developer.

How to Assess Unit Test Coverage?

Unit test coverage can be calculated based on the number of code lines depending on the executable source code lines besides the total lines. Since numerous lines of codes including constant declarations and comments are not compiled during the executable machine instructions.

Build Pass Rate:

In order to check whether a build is successful or not, developers must understand the CI/CD lifecycle. When working on a build, occasional build features occur. However, repeated build failures imply consistent bad code. In order to avoid occasional build failures, you should keep track of the metrics to measure developer’s performance.

How to Assess Build Pass Rate?

In order to assess the build pass rate, you can track as well as report the history of the builds. From this report, you can track the final status of the build as pass or fail.


Programming high-quality codes following the best practices is great for developers. However, it is also important to have written technical documentation in place for other team members. Such documents can be of great help when developers require knowledge transfer. In addition to this, proper technical documentation about a process or information can help new developers gain knowledge quickly, with fewer efforts, less time, and cost.

How to Assess Developer’s Performance from Documentation?

Documentation will talk a lot about the management skills of a developer. In such a case, you can pay attention to the quality of the organization and the ease of handling documentation will speak highly of the performance of developers.

Cycle Time:

The cycle time metric gauges the total time spent on the starting as well as completion of a task. It is crucial to assess the developmental velocity of an organization. It is one of the key metrics to measure developer’s performance. It shows the total time taken for a developer to solve problems. The cycle time is measured in minutes. In order to have the best performance, lead time should be decreased continuously.

How to Assess Cycle Time?

You can count the number of days from the start date to the date of completion. In addition to this, you can visualize the data that shows the processing and amount of time taken to solve a particular issue.

Cumulative Flow:

Cumulative flow is an important metric among the other metrics to measure developer’s performance. It depicts the stability of your development team. In addition to this, cumulative flow ensures that the work on all the modules is consistent. It helps make the processes more predictable.

How to Assess Cumulative Flow of a Developer?

You can track the cumulative flow by visualizing the key indicators of software development including cycle time, throughput, work in progress, etc. Using a graphical representation of a workflow, it is easy to track at what stage a developer is currently working on. As a result, you can track if the developer is working under backlog or is exceeding the expectations.

Open/Close Rate:

The open/close rate is a key factor showing the number of issues reported as well as closed in a certain period of time. The better the close rate, the better is the performance metric of your developer.

How to Assess Open/Close Rate?

You can track the total time taken by a developer along with the total number of issues resolved by developers during a certain period of time in order to track metrics to measure developer’s performance.

Number of Unavailability Cases:

The metric represents how many times a developer has remained unavailable. While there are certain instances offered to developers for planned leaves and emergency ones, when there are more tasks pending from their end, it might be a red flag for your solution.

How to Assess the Number of Unavailability Cases?

You should not set 100% uptime for your developers. However, match the unavailability with the issues pending and you can gauge whether they are on the higher side or not.

Code Commit & Pull Request Throughput:

One of the best metrics to measure developer’s performance is through code commit rate and pull request throughput. You can detect continuous workflow through the number of times a code is committed as well as pushed through a repository. In addition to this, you can track the pull requests using a time window.

How to Assess the Code Commit?

By observing the number of times a developer commits code, you can assess the speed of a developer along with the extent to which the business goals can be met.

What Should be Your Approach to Improve the Developer’s Performance?


Every developer working for your product will have different motivation. If you can identify the motivation, you have already won half the battle. The other half of the battle begins when your put that motivator in front of your developer to work on their weak areas.

Align them with the quest for growth and their performance will never go stale towards product success. However, a majority of it depends on how you are dealing with the developer. If you have in-house developers, you can directly talk to them about their weak areas and provide them with the required environment for better performance.

If you have engaged with a remote developer from a software development company, they will take care of their performance for you. Broadly, you can adopt team building activities to bring out the best among your developers and use proper team collaboration tool for transparent communication.

More About Author


Vishal Nakum

Vishal Nakum is a tech enthusiast with a passion for exploring the latest developments in the world of technology. He has a keen interest in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Blockchain, and enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in these fields. Vishal is an avid learner and is always on the lookout for new ways to expand his knowledge and skills. He is also a creative thinker and enjoys experimenting with new ideas and concepts. In his free time, Vishal enjoys playing video games and reading books on technology and science.