Counting lines of code…. why?

face="Trebuchet MS" color=teal>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 href="">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…


Comments (3)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Code line counting.. : Jason Tucker’s Blog

  2. Not counting words is fine if you’re writing for the Web. For those of us still editing material for the print media, it can cause serious trouble. If I’m expecting 20 pages and I get 2 a week after the deadline (the only time most writers submit anything) I’m left scrambling for something to fill the empty space. If I’m expecting 2 and get 20, I have to spend hours cutting. This is why editors end up preferring writers who can adjust their material to fill the assigned space.

  3. Yes, I'm bored....... says:

    FYI – The number of lines of code is typically used as an indicator (although certainly not the only indicator!) of the complexity of the software. This information can be used to help determine the effort and risk involved in modifying the code in future projects.

    Anyone interested in ever working for a large software company, where software development is more process driven, should start counting lines of code and get better at estimating lines of code when estimating effort.