How Uber is Measuring Engineering Productivity
Inside Uber’s launch of the Eng Dashboard. How do engineers and managers feel about this new tool, and which metrics does it track?
On Thursday, 4 August, Uber held an All-Hands meeting. Presenting at the event was Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi.
During the meeting, Dara showcased a new tool for all of engineering: the Eng Metrics Dashboard. It’s a dashboard which shows pull review metrics – which Uber calls ‘diffs’ – code review metrics and focus time stats. This is what it looks like at first glance:
For the past two months I’ve been talking with software engineers and engineering managers about their experience with this new tool, and I’ve seen their views on its usefulness shift. In this issue, we venture inside Uber to get a sense of what the Eng Metrics Dashboard is, the problems it might attempt to solve and feedback from engineers.
The history of tracking coding stats. Uber has tracked pull requests – referred to as diffs – before, but in a way which was hidden from engineers. We also look at how Facebook and Amazon have similar approaches in place for tracking pull requests.
Uber’s Eng Metrics Dashboard: a high-level overview. A look at what it is and the metrics it tracks.
Why is the Eng Metrics Dashboard sponsored by the CEO? It’s highly unusual for a CEO to not only care about, but also to champion, an engineering productivity tool. My analysis on why it’s happened at Uber.
Initial worries about the new approach. Upon the announcement, both software engineers and engineering managers were worried this tool could be misused. Two months on, were their concerns valid?
Spotting outliers and regional differences. Using the tool to spot outliers, and how different regions have varying diff and code review counts.
Measuring software engineering productivity. Having previously covered this topic, how does Uber’s approach fit into practices which are worth following, or best avoided? My analysis.
Appendix: Uber’s Eng Metrics Dashboard: a visual walkthrough. The mockup of most parts of the Eng Metrics Dashboard. Subscribers can access the full mockup in one document here: