Churn in the "Weekly Activity" reportLast Updated: December 05, 2018
Code churn is when an engineer rewrites code that was created within the 2 past weeks, by herself or her team.
It is a measure that tells you the rate at which your team's code evolves. It can have several usages:
- Visualize your development process: Your code churn mirrors in some way the practices your team uses to deliver code. For instance, you may want to watch out for regular spikes, which may hint at a mini waterfall going on in your daily work.
- Identify delivery risks: Code churn can be a warning sign if you approach a deadline while your code churn increases. That’s a sign that the code gets more and more volatile, the closer you get to your deadline. You may want the opposite. You may want to stabilize more and more code, the closer you get to delivery.
You should expect high rates of churn at the start of a product cycle or after the team has implemented many changes. Toward the end of an iteration or before a release, you should expect the level of churn to decrease, which indicates that your project is more stable.
A certain amount of Churn should be expected for every developer. Unusual spikes in Churn can be an indicator that an engineer is stuck. Or high Churn may also be an indication of another problem like inadequate specs, or a focus on code optimization. Knowing immediately as your team experiences churn spikes helps you have timely conversations to surface any potential problems.