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I'm conducting a programming training for 3 months. Details in this link - Programming Training Details.

My question is "How do we quantify benefits from such training?".

I think the two important factors to focus on are
- Quality of Code
- Productivity

My current thinking is on the lines of having the group solve a problem on day 1 of the training and compare it with how the group solves a similar problem on the last day of the training.

Edit 1 :

Thanks for the feedback.

This is a program which I have plans to extend to other teams if it is successful. And there by the thoughts on how to quantify benefits.

I agree that all the replies saying "Its difficult to quantify!" and I had further discussions outside which helped me understand that measuring might even be counter productive.

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Why? Who needs this measurement? Do you have to "justify" a training course to some decision-maker? What's the purpose of doing any measurement? What are you trying to learn? –  S.Lott Jan 20 '12 at 10:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You don't. Your core goals, quality of code and productivity, are practically impossible to quantify, so how do you expect to quantify the results of a training aimed at increasing them?

You can measure indirect indicators - number of bugs fixed, number of new bugs introduced, number of commits, number of changes, number of lines-of-code modified, but those are really bad indicators, reflecting horribly non-proportional side effects of the things you really want to measure.

I suggest you use non-quantified methods of assessing the quality: interview the team about how they think the training has helped them, observe them at work, review code they write, test-drive the software they make. There is no formal replacement for this kind of human interaction.

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I agree: You don't. Don't try to measure everything. The benefits of training will make themselves obvious in lots of little (and sometimes big) things, but I don't believe they are measurable per se. –  Anne Schuessler Jan 20 '12 at 8:51
    
Its the great "Computer Science" conundrum. There is practically nothing about programming and software development that can be meaningfully quantified. Anything measurable like lines of code, time spent, cyclic complexity turns out to a not very useful measure. Even the most basic metrics like "project was a success" depend more on the organizations culture and office politics than whether the project achieved its goals. –  James Anderson Jan 23 '12 at 2:30

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