Calculating Return on Investment for Any Developer Tool

30 July 2008

I just finished work on a spreadsheet to calculate the ROI for developer tools. I've got it pre-configured to calculate ROI for a $249 CodeRush and Refactor! Pro purchase (with a corresponding 25% increase in coding speed), but you should be able to use it for any dev tool on which you're trying to get buy-in from management.

Just change the red values to something more applicable to your situation, and you can get a sense of how much product usage time would pass before you saw a return on your investment. Here's a screen shot of the spreadsheet:


One neat feature of this spreadsheet is that it's flexible in how you measure productivity. In the example above, we're measuring productivity in methods written per hour (that's the value of the "Unit of Code" field. If you would prefer to calculate this based on lines of code per hour, or some other metric that feels more comfortable, it's easy to adapt.

UPDATE: Revised spreadsheet and post is here.

9 comment(s)

Mr Millahseconds...  After that pitiful earthquake debacle, I'm not surprised that you've been relegated to playing with excel in a room by yourself instead of developing with the rest of the team...

30 July, 2008

250 work days in year? are all slave in devexp? no christmas, no holidays?? :-)

31 July, 2008
Christoph Brändle

every restaurant will tell you that their food is good, but in the end you have to eat and pay yourself, arguments like that, they can sound too good,

be aware a bad developer can make more bad code too..

31 July, 2008


....the most of companies in Mexico exceed this number... in my personal situation... i have only holidays in Christmas... working in the most of cases 10-12 hours by day.... very bad... of course.. some times works your 8 hours.. but very rare...

31 July, 2008
Robert Fuchs

The biggest mistake in this equation is "Learning Time Invested: 2 Hours".

Mr. Millah, learning Coderush/Refactor! in 2 hours?

Are you crazy?

31 July, 2008

Yes Robert...that seems to be on the low side.  I am still learning how to do everything.

Granted the product is amazing but you need to remember to use it as well - sometimes when I am typing code it just flows out and then I realize I could have done it faster with Refactor!

And different here IMO I think most serious developers spend a great many hours a day working at our craft.  It is a constant evolution!

31 July, 2008
Jeff Schumacher

Dude, your spreadsheet needs injection in the ROI calculation:

Remove 30 minutes per day spent killing the F5 key on the DevExpress releases page ( and take that as a 6.25 % loss in productivity

Add 15% for the shear satisfaction of typing:


<enter><enter>(select IDrink)<refactor key>Create Implementor<enter>(select classname)<refactor key>Rename<enter>Scottsman<enter>(clear PintsPerDay function)nd<space>Amount<enter>10.<enter>(clear IsDrunk function)rt<space>

in under a minute.

Add 5% for the joy in watching people's faces when you say "I don't code in VB or C#, I code in CODE RUSH."

Subtract 10% for getting your ass kicked for saying, "I code in CODE RUSH" by the obsessive (insert 'the other tool' name here) fan.  Finally, add 4% for telling them to go choke on a modal dialog box.

4 August, 2008
Azret Botash (DevExpress)


"choke on a modal dialog box." :)

5 August, 2008
Mark Miller (DevExpress)

Hey Robert, the 2 hours to learn is what it takes to get comfortable with CodeRush templates, which give you the biggest productivity gains for the smallest investment of time. Learning ALL of CodeRush will take much longer, and the gains tend to get incrementally smaller the more you learn. One thing that should be in the spreadsheet -- the percentage of time spent during the day actually coding. If you only spend 10% of the day coding, then your ROI will be ten times as long.

11 August, 2008

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