November 23, 2011

Lunch-N-Learn Ideas? Use Sonar Hotspots

Are you eager to get your team together for a lunch-n-learn with free pizza (and beer), but can't come up with any ideas on which to present?

Or maybe you just want to get heads down and make some high impact, quality improvements to your code base, but don't know where to start.

I've written about one idea for the latter in Risk Homing Metrics. But lately, I've been using another technique to find real, practical ideas for lunch-n-learns and quality improvements: Sonar's Hotspots.

I like Sonar because it aggregates multiple metrics into single views. It also allows you to view various levels of detail: high, overall project stuff for manager types all the way down to lines of code for developers. By using the Hotspots feature, you can quickly find the top five problem areas in various categories = real, applicable ideas.

If you've never used Sonar, take a look at the Hotspots for ActiveMQ. You can also view many of your favorite open source projects' Sonar results on Nemo.

As always with metrics, you need to weed out the false positives and tweak Sonar so that it only picks up real issues. Otherwise, you risk people getting discouraged and not using the tool.

Now, go schedule that lunch-n-learn and order some pizza.

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