RubyConf 2007: Tightening the Feedback Loop

Posted in Conferences, Development on July 27, 2008

RubyConf 2007: Tightening the Feedback Loop

Measuring the accuracy of feedback involves identifying a metric you care about, automating the measurement of that metric, and bringing notification of changes to the developer. Of course, one has to measure "meta-accuracy", ensuring your testing system itself is reliable and trustworthy. Tools like heckle and rcov can provide a baseline of sanity for your test coverage.

Testing the human-percieved maintainability of one's code is another challenge. While flog can offer some help, Hagelberg also suggests being judicious about a focused, clear commit strategy.

Measuring performance in an automated way is worth doing. While using a profiler is a very manual process, you can measure "black-box" response times in automated way, for example with a script that makes requests against your application. The results of these performance measurements should be visible and readily available. Keeping a history of feedback data is suggested.

Author: Phil Hagelberg

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Tags: Business, Conferences, Ruby, Confreaks, RubyConf 2007