Invented Quality Metric: Feltz Levels

There’s a meme that continues to amuse our development team. It originated at SRA long ago and was brought through several other companies before reaching my current employer. When I found it on our internal wiki, I assumed it was akin to the April Fools’ Day RFCs, so I Googled for ‘Feltz’ and actually found a Fernand Feltz at the Centre de Recherche Public-Gabriel Lippmann in Luxembourg. Unfortunately, this is not the Feltz for which the software quality metrics below are named. These were invented in the nineties by an engineer at SRA whose last name was Feltz.

Sometimes perfection seems too much to ask. Don’t despair; rejoice at all the milestones you have already met. The following Feltz levels are defined:

  1. Sits in the editor without harm.
  2. Correctly syntax-highlighted
  3. Successfully saves to disk
  4. In CM
  5. Compiles
  6. Links
  7. Execution reaches main()
  8. Produces discernable output
  9. Does something arguably correct before crashing
  10. Runs to completion.