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Using Data to Tune a Software Team. Jonathan Alexander VP Engineering, Vocalocity. Speaker Bio: Jonathan Alexander. VP Engineering – Vocalocity Leading US provider of hosted VoIP PBX for small businesses Cloud based software Java/C++, Linux, HornetQ, Memcached, MongoDB, PostgreSQL

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using data to tune a software team
Using Data to Tune a Software Team
  • Jonathan Alexander
  • VP Engineering, Vocalocity
speaker bio jonathan alexander
Speaker Bio: Jonathan Alexander
  • VP Engineering – Vocalocity
    • Leading US provider of hosted VoIP PBX for small businesses
    • Cloud based software Java/C++, Linux, HornetQ, Memcached, MongoDB, PostgreSQL
    • Team of 35 engineers (development and test) all based in Atlanta
    • Agile methodology, bi-weekly sprints and releases
    • Project management tools: JIRA, Greenhopper, SVN, Google Docs, MS Exchange
  • Past experience: vmSight (acquired), Epiphany, Radnet (acquired)
  • Author of Codermetrics (O’Reilly 2011) and various related articles
question 1
Question #1
  • If you want to improve something, where do you start?
question 11
Question #1
  • If you want to improve something, where do you start?
  • Answer: Observation
  • Example:
    • If we want to find bottlenecks in our software, we test and gather performance statistics
  • A historical record of observations produces data that we can analyze to improve
  • Observations from multiple perspectives may help
  • The process of observation and analysis is nothing to fear
    • Self-reflection can be painful but useful
question 2
Question #2
  • What is worth observing and paying attention to?
question 21
Question #2
  • What is worth observing and paying attention to?
  • Answer: We can’t be sure
  • Example:
    • Slow application UI could be due to a problem at any layer
  • Good strategy is to observe and track anything that might be relevant
  • Partially depends on what our goals are and how we measure success
what qualities might you want to improve on a team
What Qualities Might You Want to Improve on a Team?
  • Efficiency
  • Quality
  • Innovation

What Factors Contribute to Success of a Team?

  • Skill and Experience
  • Morale
  • Teamwork and Communication
  • Focus and Effort
  • Creativity and Inspiration
  • Lack of Distraction
what qualities might you want to improve on a team1
What Qualities Might You Want to Improve on a Team?
  • Efficiency
  • Quality
  • Innovation

Know How to Get Data

What Factors Contribute to Success of a Team?

  • Skill and Experience
  • Morale
  • Teamwork and Communication
  • Focus and Effort
  • Creativity and Inspiration
  • Lack of Distraction

Not Sure How toGet Data

where do you get data about a software team
Where Do You Get Data about a Software Team?

Obvious Places

  • Task Management System
  • Bug Tracking System
  • Customer Issue Tracking System
  • Version Control System
where do you get data about a software team1
Where Do You Get Data about a Software Team?

Obvious Places

  • Task Management System
  • Bug Tracking System
  • Customer Issue Tracking System
  • Version Control System

Less Obvious Places

  • Calendar and Email System
  • Phone System (Call Logs)
  • Performance Reviews
  • Social Networks and Forums
  • Survey System
how do you get data about a software team
How Do You Get Data about a Software Team?
  • Pull from active systems (automated or manual)
  • First-hand observation (self-observation gathered through reports or surveys)
  • Second-hand observation (gathered through reports or surveys)
data gathering and data analysis for software teams
Data Gathering and Data Analysis for Software Teams
  • Can lead to new discoveries and understandings
  • Helps increase focus – the 7% Rule
seek to categorize not measure
Seek to Categorize, Not Measure
  • Identify individual and team strengths and weaknesses
  • Statistics: look at standard deviation (bell curve) or relative rank more than raw numbers
self rating survey team analysis
Self-Rating Survey - Team Analysis

Dev Team 1

Dev Team 2

QA Team

putting analysis to work to tune a software team
Putting Analysis to Work to Tune a Software Team
  • Mentoring
    • Align individuals with desired strengths with others who seek to develop
  • Training
    • Consider training and development beyond just technical areas
  • Shifting
    • Possibly re-align teams or roles to achieve better balance
  • Hiring
    • Align and analyze hiring to strengthen team weaknesses
questions
Questions?
  • For more resources visit codermetrics.org
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