Counting lines of code…. why?

From time to time, when I’ve shown someone a
system I built, I’ve been asked “How many lines of code is that?”… and my
answer has always been the same… “I have no idea”.

I’ve never even tried to count the lines of code in a project, and I have no
idea why I would. Jason mentions in his post that some
people have to account for their lines of code produced in a day and I think
that is absolutely crazy. So if you write more lines of code, you are a more
productive employee? I hate to point out such an obvious point, but I’d like to
think that the important point is how many bugs you fixed or how many features
you completed…. regardless of how much typing it required.

Oh well, at least I don’t have to count my lines of code… and I don’t
intend to ever start. It is worth pointing out, since I am mostly a writer these
days, I don’t count the words in my articles (or pages) either. The exception
would be if I was being paid by the word, but as a general rule I don’t like to
pay or be paid by the word/page… pay me to cover a topic to a certain depth
and that should be enough. If I hand in 2 pages and you expected 20, read the
pages… did I cover the material, if not then don’t pay me… ok, now I am
rambling so I had better hit post…


Author: Duncan Mackenzie

I'm the Developer Lead for the Channel 9 team, formerly worked on MSDN as a developer, content strategist and author.

One thought on “Counting lines of code…. why?”

  1. Hi,

    I agree that the number of lines of code (LOC or somes kLOC) by itself is a poor indicator. I use it to track my own progress. It gives me a rough feel of how productive (or not) I was. Also, I like to compare the number of comments with the LOC. This way I can make sure that I am making an appropriate number of comments.

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