Can delivery metrics inform engineer skill development?

Software Engineer Career Development Blog

Plandek’s Agile software delivery metrics make it easy for non-technical line managers to plan skill development and professional advancement for engineers.

The role of a software engineer in a delivery team, regardless of which methodology the team is using, has two purposes. The first and main purpose is the commitment to work as a part of a team and deliver quality code. However, the second purpose is the need for software developers to develop personal skills and knowledge, including keeping up-to-date with the ever-changing technologies and needs of the business.

I’ve worked in lots of delivery teams and as a result, I’ve worked with many software engineers, ranging from apprentices and juniors all the way up to technical leads and solution architects. I have also found myself in that important position as a Line Manager for engineers and, while I have worked in IT for almost 20 years, I do not possess the technical skill required to be a software engineer. However, as a Line Manager, I have always been keen to be able to support and encourage their personal development.


Improving traditional career progression for software engineers

Most organisations will have a career progression framework for the engineering community and it may have a step-by-step guide on what needs to be done to progress up through the ranks. Many organisations might also have mentoring programmes in which a senior engineer can work alongside the Line Manager to assist with professional progression. However, I expect there are a lot of people who have either found themselves in my position – where they are a Line Manager for a technical role – or in the position of a software engineer who has a Line Manager who is not technical.

This is where Plandek can help by using insightful metrics that can paint a picture of an engineer’s skill level and assist in building a personal development plan, which can then complement any career progression framework that might be in place. Plandek’s customisable software engineering dashboards provide a balanced scorecard of metrics to help quickly identify coaching opportunities.


Specific metrics to help career and skills development

Key metrics for development can include reports such as Code Cycle Time, where you can drill into the time it takes to create and merge a pull request. The author can break it down, so you could build a history of work and set a target for that to decrease over time.

Code Cycle Time Metric

Code Knowledge could be used, again filtered by the author, to see how engineers are contributing towards the buddying/approving process, which helps with productivity but also increases their own knowledge of the code. Again, personal development goals could be set using this as a benchmark.

Code Knowledge Metric

Another great metric is First Time Pass Rate, which can help determine the quality of the code the engineers are producing. All of these metrics are measurable and fit nicely into a SMART objective framework.

First Time Pass Rate FTPR Metric


Not just delivery metrics: Plandek paints an overall picture of SDLC

Plandek is more than just delivery-related metrics: it paints a picture of your overall software delivery lifecycle. Plandek can range from being part of a monthly stakeholder project report through to being part of an individual personal development plan.

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