Mining Build Statistics

code better • have fun

Mike Clark’s been posting some interesting views of CruiseControl build statistics (here and here). These are cool pictures, and I suspect there’s a bunch of information to be gleaned from them:

  • what’s the blob density (how frequently do folks check in)?
  • are they mostly red or mostly blue (red is broken builds)?
  • after a red blob, how many more red blobs do you see before you get a blue one?

That last statistic is one I think might be interesting. If you were to plot a histogram of the number of sequences of red blobs of length one, length two, length three, and so on, what would it look like? If it is heavily weighted to the low end, then you’re looking at a team that fixes broken windows.

I’m sure that there’s a lot more cool stuff in these pictures, but I’m impressed at how quickly things jump out at you, and just how much tacit information they convey. Maybe project tea-leaf reading will become a sought-after discipline…