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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2019

Rethinking Productivity in Software Engineering

  • Collects the wisdom of software engineering thought leaders in a form digestible for any developer

  • Shares hard-won best practices and pitfalls to avoid

  • An up to date look at current practices in software engineering productivity

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Softcover Book USD 59.99
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  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
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Table of contents (25 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxviii
  2. Measuring Productivity: No Silver Bullet

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. The Mythical 10x Programmer

      • Lutz Prechelt
      Pages 3-11Open Access
    3. No Single Metric Captures Productivity

      • Ciera Jaspan, Caitlin Sadowski
      Pages 13-20Open Access
    4. Why We Should Not Measure Productivity

      • Amy J. Ko
      Pages 21-26Open Access
  3. Introduction to Productivity

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 27-27
    2. Defining Productivity in Software Engineering

      • Stefan Wagner, Florian Deissenboeck
      Pages 29-38Open Access
    3. A Software Development Productivity Framework

      • Caitlin Sadowski, Margaret-Anne Storey, Robert Feldt
      Pages 39-47Open Access
    4. Software Productivity Through the Lens of Knowledge Work

      • Emerson Murphy-Hill, Stefan Wagner
      Pages 57-65Open Access
  4. The Context of Productivity

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 67-67
    2. Factors That Influence Productivity: A Checklist

      • Stefan Wagner, Emerson Murphy-Hill
      Pages 69-84Open Access
    3. How Do Interruptions Affect Productivity?

      • Duncan P. Brumby, Christian P. Janssen, Gloria Mark
      Pages 85-107Open Access
    4. Happiness and the Productivity of Software Engineers

      • Daniel Graziotin, Fabian Fagerholm
      Pages 109-124Open Access
    5. Dark Agile: Perceiving People As Assets, Not Humans

      • Pernille Bjørn
      Pages 125-134Open Access
  5. Measuring Productivity in Practice

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 135-135
    2. Developers’ Diverging Perceptions of Productivity

      • André N. Meyer, Gail C. Murphy, Thomas Fritz, Thomas Zimmermann
      Pages 137-146Open Access
    3. Human-Centered Methods to Boost Productivity

      • Brad A. Myers, Amy J. Ko, Thomas D. LaToza, YoungSeok Yoon
      Pages 147-157Open Access
    4. Using Biometric Sensors to Measure Productivity

      • Marieke van Vugt
      Pages 159-167Open Access
    5. How Team Awareness Influences Perceptions of Developer Productivity

      • Christoph Treude, Fernando Figueira Filho
      Pages 169-178Open Access

About this book

Get the most out of this foundational reference and improve the productivity of your software teams. This open access book collects the wisdom of the 2017 "Dagstuhl" seminar on productivity in software engineering, a meeting of community leaders, who came together with the goal of rethinking traditional definitions and measures of productivity.

The results of their work, Rethinking Productivity in Software Engineering, includes chapters covering definitions and core concepts related to productivity, guidelines for measuring productivity in specific contexts, best practices and pitfalls, and theories and open questions on productivity. You'll benefit from the many short chapters, each offering a focused discussion on one aspect of productivity in software engineering.

Readers in many fields and industries will benefit from their collected work. Developers wanting to improve their personal productivity, will learn effective strategies for overcoming common issues that interfere with progress. Organizations thinking about building internal programs for measuring productivity of programmers and teams will learn best practices from industry and researchers in measuring productivity. And researchers can leverage the conceptual frameworks and rich body of literature in the book to effectively pursue new research directions.

What You'll Learn
  • Review the definitions and dimensions of software productivity
  • See how time management is having the opposite of the intended effect
  • Develop valuable dashboards
  • Understand the impact of sensors on productivity
  • Avoid software development waste
  • Work with human-centered methods to measure productivity
  • Look at the intersection of neuroscience and productivity
  • Manage interruptions and context-switching

Who Book Is For

Industry developers and those responsible for seminar-style courses that include a segment on software developer productivity. Chapters are written for a generalist audience, without excessive use of technical terminology.


  • Software Engineering
  • Software Development
  • Productivity
  • Agile
  • Software best practices
  • Dashboards
  • Neuroscience
  • Knowledge workers
  • Software management
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • Mountain View, USA

    Caitlin Sadowski

  • Bellevue, USA

    Thomas Zimmermann

About the editors

The authors and chapters of this book derive from a recent Dagstuhl seminar on software productivity and represent the wisdom of leading software engineers and researchers.

Caitlin Sadowski is a Software Engineer at Google with a team focused on understanding engineer productivity. She is also a committee member for many the top software engineering conferences including the flagship ICSE and FSE, OOPSLA, and PLDI.

Thomas Zimmermann is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research with more than 50 related publications. He has served as Co-Editor in Chief of Empirical Software Engineering and on the editorial boards of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, IEEE Software, and Software: Evolution and Process. He is a committee member for top software engineering conferences and previously edited books on recommender systems (Springer) and data science in software engineering (Morgan Kaufmann).   

Bibliographic Information

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access