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Rebelcast Episode 11 – Software Predictability

How important is predictability in software development? Some might say not much, but in fact it’s one of the few measurable metrics out there that can help us better understand Developer Productivity, which is something we care a lot about over here at ZT.

At the beginning of August 2013, we launched a survey to gather primary research for our 4th Developer Productivity Report, this time focusing a bit more on the team level, rather than individual developers. It’s still open, and we are *extremely* close to reaching out goal of >1000 developer responses (we’d love you to spend 5 minutes filling it out!)

So how do Jevgeni and Toomas feel about this subject? Jevgeni believes that many in the industry are convinced that software cannot be predicted at all, that you need to be constantly reacting to changing requirements. Tom, being no Dev Hippie, thinks that scope, team size and future planning are all factors that need to be considered. Striving for 80% predictability is good–it’s a mistake to go for 100% predictability, as the “all or nothing” theme can be a daunting goal, and the likelihood of it is low (no good to create a negative feedback loop).

Ultimately, software can be predictable within a corridor of likelihood, and getting to that 80% predictability level is a challenge that should be embraced. Stay tuned into @ZeroTurnaround for the latest information on Developer Productivity Report 2013!