I’m pleased to say that a fun package arrived in the mail today. It was the conference proceedings from ITNG 2012 (IT Next Generations 2012) 9th Annual Conference. Generally, conferences are good stuff, since you get to meet other people and be exposed to new ideas, but this one was particularly special for me. It represents the first conference where I’ve had the pleasure of publishing my own work.
One would think, working in industry, that if I’d discovered a new/great idea that the route ought to be to patent it and protect my intellectual property. I don’t see things that way. As you can tell, I’m inclined to freely give away lots of knowledge that I have because I know, when you need specific help with your situation, that I’ve been an open book about exactly what kind and quality of advice and guidance you’ll get from me. And for that reason, I’m pleased to be able to say that we’re breaking new ground with looking at how to measure the size of a software system.
Sure, there’s always KLOC (thousand lines of code) or FP (function points) but both these systems have major drawbacks. Capers Jones has gone so far (and I agree) to call the use of KLOC as a measurement system “professional malpractice.” Function points makes lots of improvements, but can be costly. There appears to be a simpler answer – simply use the test cases as a proxy for the function points delivered and use those as your measurement system. If you’re so inclined to read further, check out pages 242 – 246 of ITNG 2012. I hope some new ideas in the software measurement space can help improve the science.