BlueOptima: Decoding Software Development

Jason Rolles, CEO
Maximizing software development productivity is more important than ever. Currently, progress is tracked with burn-down charts and task-tracking systems. These arbitrarily indicate that projects are moving forwards, but as the amount of work required delivering each user story and feature is best-guessed, it isn’t possible to ascertain accurate work estimates or identify where progress isn’t as fast as it perhaps should be. BlueOptima has solved these problems with technology that provides software development productivity insight in terms of Coding Effort, a unit of intellectual effort, expressible in hours. “We accurately monitor the software development process, providing timely insights that drive better quality releases and faster time to market,” remarks BlueOptima CEO, Jason Rolles.

The Coding Effort Analytics™ algorithm at the heart of BlueOptima’s flagship offering—a commercial SaaS solution— started life at Cambridge University. “An R&D program spanning more than 15 years has culminated in our highly sophisticated ability to quantify, benchmark and analyze Coding Effort based on source code change,” says Rolles. Coding Effort is calculated through automatically evaluating every change that software developers contribute to the codebase in terms of an array of static source code metrics, which are benchmarked based on the volume, complexity and interrelatedness of code, to calculate BlueOptima’s proprietary measure of Coding Effort. The data is gathered via source code repositories like Subversion and Git, and task tracking systems such as Jira. BlueOptima collates data on past software development activity generating benchmarks so that team managers and executives can understand how much work was required to deliver historic releases and features, as a basis for accurate project sizing and objective assessment of outsourcing partners.

BlueOptima’s Coding Effort Analytics have many applications adding value across all aspects of the software development lifecycle, from developer performance to software estate and vendor management. BlueOptima benefits all strata throughout an organization; from senior executives who now have an objective basis for confident budgeting, managers who have realistic expectations and can identify productivity blockers and developers whose hard work should be recognized, regardless of the technology or platforms on which they are working. BlueOptima data helps managers to identify, retain and reward their top developers, whilst also determining those who require training or reassigning; ultimately reducing costs.

BlueOptima accurately monitors the software development process, providing timely insights that drive better quality releases and faster time to market

Coding Effort Analytics further empowers CTOs, CIOs and senior managers to make better budgeting decisions and business cases through independent and objective understanding of the historic Coding Effort invested into legacy and acquired codebases.

BlueOptima is used to identify incremental operational efficiencies in the software development process. BlueOptima worked with a large and acquisitive ISV operating in the insurance space who wanted to identify the key teams and individual software developers who have institutional knowledge about acquired source code estates. This ISV used BlueOptima’s solution to manage their internal resources on an ongoing basis once an acquisition was integrated into their operating model.

BlueOptima has two further product lines in addition to Coding Effort benchmarking; Analysis of Relative Thresholds (ART) and Developer Testing, for respectively measuring source code quality and testing developers’ coding performance before deciding to hire them.

Rolles foresees that software will continue to “eat the world,” citing Marc Andreessen’s hugely popular article in the Wall Street Journal in 2011: “Industry benchmarking is going to become the key to understand organizations’ competitive positioning in terms of software development and innovation capability.” BlueOptima will enhance organizations’ ability to understand software engineers’ capabilities, both before and after hiring them, through public social media profiling, developer testing and ongoing performance evaluation. “We will advance our flagship product by combining these market trends to remain ahead of any competition,” ends Rolles.


New York City, NY

Jason Rolles, CEO

Provides Coding Effort Analytics SaaS solution