Features per Engineer


In any engineering organization, some percentage of work is dedicated each cycle to reworking and maintaining existing functionality. Features represent the amount of new work that an engineering team is delivering, defined as the proportion of pull requests that contain net new code.

A feature is not necessarily the same as a customer feature. For instance, a customer feature to measure the impact of AI coding tools on productivity might encompass several smaller features, like tracking coding activity, sending events through a data pipeline, and then building several data visualizations.

While features can also be approximated using issues or story points from project management tools like Jira, these methods abstract the actual engineering work that is being performed. Pull requests are the best approximation of working software, which is the primary measure of progress as set forth in the Agile Manifesto.


Features per engineer = pull requests × percentage net new code ÷ active engineers.

  • A pull request is a measurable unit of working software.
  • The code changed in each pull request is categorized as follows:

  • Active engineers is a 30-day rolling average of the number of engineers who created or reviewed a pull request.

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