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Discussed in this paper are the underlying principles of a programmer productivity measuring system. The key measures (or metrics) are people and lines of code. Definitions of these metrics are refined and qualified, according to the conditions under which they are used. Presented also is a data base design for retaining and retrieving these metrics under a wide variety of applications and other circumstances. Depending on definitions, applications, and other circumstances, productivity measurements may differ widely. On the other hand, after suitable productivity metrics have been defined, consistency of application of the same metrics yields comparable results from project to project.
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