Can’t You Just Game the Metrics?

Let’s take a look at what gaming the numbers on a few key metrics might look like:

  • New Work: If you’re a senior engineer, chances are you are doing a lot of refactoring for the whole team. This is clearly needed, but you might feel it hurts your New Work ratio. First, that is what would be expected. But let’s imagine you still want to work on it. This gives you incentive to better mentor your junior engineer so you have less refactoring, and even invite them to get into the maintenance business with you. By doing this, you’ll be able to take on more New Work.
  • Churn Percentage: The most reliable way to game the Churn metric is to be methodical about incorporating any recurring feedback from your code reviews. Before checking in a commit, check your code once again and make sure you’ve handled anything that commonly comes up in your code reviews. Focusing on clean PRs is a great way to reduce churn and increase your own productivity as it is less time spent in back and forth within code reviews. So it improves the productivity of the code reviewers too!
  • Pull Request Complexity: Best way to reduce complexity is to break work into smaller bits. The more granular the change, the more favorable this will be treated by our complexity algorithm. It will help in the pull request merging process as well, thus releasing more often and increasing the productivity of your reviewers as well.

So, can you "game" the system? Absolutely. And actually, the point is to "game" the system, as it will push you towards best practices naturally.

Consistently maintaining “good marks” in Anaxi gives you a way to show, not tell, that you are a strong contributor. It offers a path to reducing the miscommunication and political overhead that can come from working on things that are invisible. It’s a way to be recognized if you’re more of a maker, and less of a talker.

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