I get a lot of questions about the essential readings for the area of metrics. Since the area has been active since the 1950s, the number of books is large and the number of articles is naturally even larger. Here is the list of the books that I’ve compiled for my students and colleagues from industry:
- Norman Fenton and James Bieman: Software Metrics. This is a classical position in the area of software metrics. It’s been around since 1990s and is perceived as providing the foundations of software metrics. The main audience of this book comprises software engineering students and researchers. If you want to start with the more theoretical aspects and closer to software product metrics, this is the perfect position for you.
- Alain Abran: Software Metrology and software metrics. This is the newest position in the discipline of software engineering. It provides a very good foundation in metrology and provides some examples of modern software measures. The major focus on the book is on the COSMIC FP measure. If you want to get good foundations in metrology and then move over towards estimations and measurement reference etalons, then this is the perfect position for you.
- Cheryl Jones and Beth Layman: Practical software measurement. This is a very good book for practitioners who want to apply ISO/IEC 15939 standard. The book provides a solid description of the standard which describes the measurement process. It’s a great position for everyone who wants to look into ISO/IEC 15939 and introduce it into the organization.
- Christof Ebert and Reiner Dumke: Software Measurement. This book is a classical position which provides solid foundations on the measurement theory and estimation. The book is rather long and covers multiple aspects, but it seems that the audience is mostly students.
- Christof Ebert et al. Best practices in software measurement. This book presents a number of best practices of measurement. Very good position for practitioners, but needs to be complemented with #4.
For everyone who wants to get into the measurement area, these positions are a good start. There is of course a lot of other books that are more dedicated for specific areas, and I will get back to these soon.