The notion of software craftsmanship is sometimes a muddy one. On the one hand, engineers find it hard to grasp and materialize craftsmanship, which is an abstract objective that, by itself, provides little guidance to the software engineering practice. On the other hand, craftsmanship is often narrowed down to a handful of “best practices” that engineers are expected to follow. Neither of these limited definitions helps much in improving software quality. During 2016, an R&D initiative for software craftsmanship was one of the technical priorities across the engineering organization at LinkedIn. As a part of this initiative, we decided to take the approach of quantifying some components of software craftsmanship to help guide our engineers towards better software development practices and software quality. The ultimate goal is to provide concrete and actionable guidelines for every piece of software being created at LinkedIn. With this goal in mind, we built a health score platform that collects and presents craftsmanship-elevating metrics, and provides a framework for convenient extension. We also proposed and implemented an initial set of metrics and plugged them into this platform.
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