Negative 2000 lines of code

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In the early 80's, the team behind the Lisa software decided to rate developers' productivity by the number of lines of code they would generate. It is a concrete example of what happens when measuring performance using single criteria.

Bill Atkinson quickly realized the number of lines of code was a bad metric, since it incentivizes code with poor performance and bloated architecture.[@hertzfeld1982-2000 Lines Of Code]

That's why he decided to optimize some part of the code he was working on, and submit a management form claiming he contributed $-2000$ lines of code.

That was all it took to review the performance metrics.

See: quantitative performance measurements produce undesired outputs

Found here: and referred by many different sources.


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Aquiles Carattino
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