A graphical summary to Caspers Jones’ latest book, “The Technical and Social History of Software Engineering”, aggregating the data of thousands of projects:

caspers1

  • Note how application size is lowering in terms of number of lines of code, in direct correlation to the linear increase in the expressive power of programming languages. This observation fits well the growing number of web/mobile application that only do a very limited number of functions.

caspers2

  • The maximum percentage of code reuse is growing very fast, due to a higher number of libraries and open-source, but spotting projects with a 85% of reuse is a yet a rarity.
  • Defect removal efficiency has steadily improved, but I expected a steeper line due to static analysis and better compiler warnings
  • The percentage of personal dedicated to maintenance has surpassed that of the initial development, but there’s little research on the success factors of this stage.

caspers3

As languages improved (and their number, so more languages are available for specific tasks), so did the programmer’s productivity, lowering the defect potential at the same time: this document about software engineering laws also provides another interesting outlook of the same datasets.

 

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