Developer Golf

Developer golf

What is Developer Golf?

Developer golf is a fun way to measure developer performance. It turns our job into a game of producing the most lines of high quality (bug free) code.

How do you play?

You win developer golf in the same way that you win any golf game: by having the least amount of **strokes at the end of a course**.

A stroke in developer golf is a bug that makes it past the developer, whether that bug is found by QA or by users (in production). Once the cause of the bug is found, git-blame can be used to determine which developer gains a stroke for the bug.

A course in developer golf could be a sprint or a release. Par for the course is calculated by averaging out the ratio of story points to bugs for all previous sprints and/or releases and then dividing that number by the number of developers on a team. Here’s an example:

Sprint 1: 140 story points/14 bugs Sprint 2: 160 story points/16 bugs Sprint 3: 130 story points/ 13 bugs Average story point to bug ratio: 10 Number of devs on a team: 2 Par for the next course: 5

Mulligans can be earned by contributing significantly more code than your team members. Mulligans are earned prior to the start of a course. In order to determine how many mulligans a developer has:

  1. For every developer, calculate her average number of contributions (additions and deletions) per week.

  2. Calculate the standard deviation for weekly team member contributions.

  3. The number of mulligans a developer has earned is equal to the square of the number of standard deviations her average weekly contribution is above the average weekly contribution for all developers. (You can’t have negative mulligans.)

Here’s an example:

Average weekly contributions:

Bob: 1000 contributions

Barbara: 2000 contributions

Billy: 3000 contributions

Standard deviation: 1000

Billy gets a mulligan.

Team play: You could introduce team play simply by treating teams as you would individuals.

Happy golfing!