What is the easiest way to track programmer productivity over time?

(and especially after interventions, like nootropics)

Including APM, lines written, efficiency, processing speed, working memory (one can track by seeing how long it takes to manually copy text from one page to another in cases where one can’t use c/p), etc


This is an interesting question. I’m a JavaScript Developer, and have been curious about this sort of question myself. I don’t know the answer outright, but I’d like to. So I’ll be following this thread. Thank you for asking.

Hi there,

I’m a developer myself, and imho many of the dry metrics that may be used for that in some places (or at least used to be used for that) such as number of commits, number lines of code, etc are NOT a good signal of good productivity.
(not sure what you meant by some of your examples tbh, can you please elaborate on apm, efficiency, processing speed, and working memory?)

It’s the nature of engineering tasks to vary a lot in complexity (on every aspect of the task- from thinking about the solution, developing, testing, maintaining etc) and therefore having a lower number (of something) doesn’t necessarily imply less productivity, and vice versa (could even imply the opposite in some cases!).

IMHO one’s own subjective outlook would be a good way of measuring it (the management might not accept this but it can be very useful for yourself).
I think looking back at your day (at the end of it), you can always tell how productive you were: weather you’ve solved big problem, or progresses more than you expected to.

(a bit of self promotion:) I happened to develop an app that supposed to assist with that, so you’re welcome to check it out if you want.
It allows you to set timed notifications for easy tracking, and even even define experiments so you can see how different nootropics affect your performance.
You’re welcome to check it out, and of course ask any question that you have: https://www.t12n.io