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The SPACE of Developer Productivity: There’s more to it than you think

March 6, 2021

Developer productivity is about more than an individual's activity levels or the efficiency of the engineering systems relied on to ship software, and it cannot be measured by a single metric or dimension. The SPACE framework captures different dimensions of productivity, and here we demonstrate how this framework can be used to understand productivity in practice and why using it will help teams better understand developer productivity and create better measures to inform their work and teams.

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Nicole Forsgren
Margaret-Anne Storey
Chandra Maddila
Thomas Zimmermann
Brian Houck
Jenna Butler

Nicole Forsgren is a partner at Microsoft Research, where she leads the Developer Velocity Lab. She is lead author of the Shingo Publication Award-winning book Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps. Her work on technical practices and development has been published in industry and academic journals and is used to guide organizational transformations around the world. For more information, visit her website at

Margaret-Anne Storey is a professor of computer science at the University of Victoria and holds a Canada Research Chair in human and social aspects of software engineering. Her research focuses on improving processes, tools, communication, and collaboration in software engineering. She serves as chief scientist at DX and consults with Microsoft to improve developer productivity.

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