These reference points come from research that examined commits from nearly 88,000 software engineers. The researchers at Flow studied over 7 million anonymized redacted commits across nearly 88,000 developers, with a data set that ranges across all of 2016.
The study looked to understand the contribution patterns of software developers, with an in-depth look at the four code fundamental metrics: Active Days per Week (Coding Days), Commits per Active Day, Impact, Efficiency.
Empirically, productive engineers are more active on a daily basis and commit more frequently throughout the day.
Three contribution profile types emerged:
- Leading contributors - These contributors are in the upper 10th percentile of engineers..
- Primary contributors - These contributors tend to be the primary, full time engineers.
- Occasional contributors - Occasional contributors are usually team leads, QA, devops, architects, data base engineers. Any team member that is not expected to be as active in the code base as your primary engineers.
What the study demonstrates is that engineers who commit more frequently (i.e., leading contributors) also tend to knock out more monthly deliverables (pull requests). The group with the lower commit profile (i.e., occasional contributors) tend to knock out less deliverables over time.
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