Tom Zimmermann

Sr. Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research


SPACE: Measuring Developer Productivity and the New Future of Work
Thursday 17:10 - 17:55
remote work
software development

Your rating:

Developer productivity is about more than an individual's activity levels or the efficiency of the engineering systems relied on to ship software, and it cannot be measured by a single metric or dimension. In this session we’ll be discussing how to use the SPACE framework for measuring developer productivity across multiple dimensions to better understand productivity in practice. We’ll discuss common myths around developer productivity, and propose a collection of sample metrics to navigate around those pitfalls. In this session we'll also share how measuring developer productivity has allowed us to build new insights about what challenges the shift to remote work has introduced for software engineers, and how to overcome many of those challenges moving forward into a new future of work.


Thomas Zimmermann is a Sr. Principal Researcher in the Productivity and Intelligence (P+I) and Software Analysis and Intelligence (SAINTes) groups at Microsoft Research. His professional interests are software engineering, data science, and recommender systems. He is best known for his research on systematic mining of version archives and bug databases to conduct empirical studies and to build tools to support developers and managers. At Microsoft, he uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate and overcome software engineering challenges. His current work is on productivity of software developers and data scientists at Microsoft. In the past, he analyzed data from digital games, branch structures, and bug reports. His work received several awards, including seven Ten Year Most Influential Paper awards at ICST’20, ESEC/FSE’19, ICSME’18, MSR’17, MSR’15, MSR’14, and ICSE’14 as well as five ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Awards. He received the IEEE CS TCSE Distinguished Service Award for his service to the community and the IEEE CS TCSE New Direction Award for co-founding the mining software repositories field. He has served on many program committees (for example, ICSE, ESEC/FSE, ECOOP, OOPSLA, ISSTA, MSR, and ESEM) and reviewed grant proposals for NSF and NSERC. He was Program Co-chair for MSR’10, MSR’11, ICSME’17 and ESEC/FSE’20. He served as General Chair for MSR’13, SIGSOFT FSE’16 and ASE’19. He is Co-Editor in Chief for the Empirical Software Engineering journal and previously served on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering and IEEE Software. He is the Chair of ACM SIGSOFT, the Special Interest Group on Software Engineering. He is a Distinguished Member of the ACM and an IEEE Fellow for his “contributions to data science in software engineering, research and practice.” He received his PhD in 2008 from Saarland University in Germany. From 2007 to 2008 he was a full-time Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University of Calgary. His h-index is 67 and he has been cited 18,000+ times according to Google Scholar. His homepage is Follow him on Twitter @tomzimmermann.