Software Development Best Practices Blog

10x Productivity Myths: Where’s the 10x Difference in Compensation?

In response to my recent blog post on the research support for 10x productivity differences among programmers, Pete McBreen made the following comment: "One point in his article that McConnell did not address--programmer compensation does not vary accordingly. This...

  1. Posted on January 22, 2011 5:42:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. productivity, Management, 10x, compensation

Origins of 10X – How Valid is the Underlying Research?

I recently contributed a chapter to Making Software (Oram and Wilson, eds., O'Reilly, 2011). The purpose of this edited collection of essays is to pull together research-based writing on software engineering. In essence, the purpose is to say, "What do we really know (quantitatively based), and what do we only kind of think we know (subjectively based)?" My chapter, "What Does 10X Mean" is an edited version of my 2008 blog entry "

  1. Posted on January 9, 2011 6:15:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, Technique, Agile, estimation, requirements, productivity, Management, Design, Maintenance, 10x, research, programmer productivity, Articles, Books, Construction

Measuring Productivity of Individual Programmers

My last couple of posts on productivity variations among programmers and the Chief Programmer Team model gave rise to some discussion about hazards of measuring software productivity at the individual programmer level. Software engineering studies normally measure productivity in terms of time to complete...

  1. Posted on April 9, 2008 5:22:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, productivity, Management, Design, Individual Productivity, Construction

Chief Programmer Team Update

One spinoff from the 10x difference in programmer productivity was the Chief Programmer Team structure. The idea of the chief-programmer team was originally developed at IBM during the late 1960s (Baker 1972, Baker and Mills 1973). It was popularized by Fred Brooks in the Mythical Man-Month (Brooks 1975, 1995), in which Brooks referred to it as a surgical team. The two terms are interchangeable. I described the technique in my 1996 book Rapid Development, but I think we've learned...

  1. Posted on March 31, 2008 5:28:PM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. Technique, project management, productivity, Management, Team Organization, Chief Programmer Team, Articles

Productivity Variations Among Software Developers and Teams: The Origin of 10x

Some blog readers have asked for more background on where the "10x" name of this blog came from. The gist of the name is that researchers have found 10-fold differences in productivity and quality between different programmers with the same levels of experience and also between different teams working within the same industries. Individual Productivity Variation in Software DevelopmentThe original study that found huge variations in individual programming productivity was...

  1. Posted on March 27, 2008 10:15:AM by ThinkLogic ThinkLogic to 10x Software Development
  2. Methods & Processes, Testing & QA, productivity, Management, Design, 10x, Individual Productivity, Team Productivity, Software Teams, Construction

Is Faster Always Faster?

A reader of one of my books asked this question: What is the impact of an improvement in response time on increased throughput? I develop many systems, and some have instantaneous response times, some have 10 minute response times, others have 4 or 5 hour response times. What are the thresholds at which response times affect throughput? Clearly going from 30 minutes to 30 seconds would be a big improvement. But would 30 minutes to 20 minutes also be a big...

  1. Posted on May 21, 2007 10:41:AM by Steve McConnell to 10x Software Development
  2. productivity, 10x software development, Management