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Proving You're Making a Difference with Code Metrics

I never get my code right the first time. And, even after my code passes all its tests, it's still not right. That's because I will have learned a lot about the problem when writing my code (wouldn't it be awful if that didn't happen?). But, unfortunately, much of my code reflects decisions made in an early, more ignorant stage of this learning process. As a result, I typically want to take some time, after the code passes its tests, to rewrite my code and make it "better."

The problem is that my clients need some proof that this rewrite is time well spent. One way to do that is to use Visual Studio's Analyze | Calculate Code Metrics menu choice to generate some hard numbers that show how the code is getting "better."

But, as I tell people all the time, no metric makes sense by itself: You need to compare your code's current numbers to what you had before to see if things are getting (in some sense of the word) "better." What you want to do is save your original numbers so you can compare them to your later, "better" numbers.

You have two ways to do this. One way is, in the Code Metric Results window, just select the metrics you're interested in, right-click on them and select Copy. Now you can paste these metrics into any place you want to keep them -- Excel would be a good choice. Of course, if you're doing that, why not just pick the Open List in Excel option on the Code Metric Results' toolbar? Now you can save those results in a workbook for later reference.

Heck, now that you've got those number in Excel, you can create a graph from them. My clients love graphs.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 03/13/2019 at 8:13 AM


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