Today I visited the Microsoft DevDays. During our lunch-break Rob and myself attended a ' commercial' session. I have to admit that I normally never go to any sessions during the lunch-break because the lunch-break is for... lunch.
But as Refactoring is one of my favourite habits and I already much like the VS2005 default refactoring functionalites we stepped into the Delta room where Mark Miller presented his tool Refactor!
During the session Rob decided to inform a member of the management commitee of our in-house Software Factory to buy some licenses for this tool. The reaction was not that enthousiastic...To work out why there were mixed feelings at buying yet another tool I created a little graph with OpenOffice and did some assumptions:
You work 200 days a year, during which you will work with 200 classes and you always need somewhere in time to refactor those.
A refactor by hand cost: 1 minute, 2 minutes or 5 minutes. That includes re-test.
The cost-rate for an average developer 30 EUR.
The license cost for Refactor! is 140 EUR.
As you can see from the graph, the break-even point for the tool is after 240 refactorings for 1 minute refactorings.
Based on my previous assumptions I now understand that it is not worth to invest in a tool where the ROI starts after a year.