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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • That's not a bad answer, except for the "our specs are always wrong" dig, which may be true, but saying so in that context is kind of like pissing into a fan. It implies that you can never give estimates.

    The option between no estimate and "Tuesday, March 3rd at 3:47pm" is to give a confidence range. "Based on what we know, it's probably going to take 4 people between 2 and 6 months. To give you a better estimate, I would need to know X, Y, and Z, and you need to decide P and Q" gives management something

  • "I can't give you a useful estimate" may be more accurate. The more you know about a project, including your previous experience with it, the better your estimates will be. As long as everyone realizes that there's a feedback loop there, you'll be better off.

  • by VSarkiss (704) on 2003.02.11 15:18 (#16909) Journal

    Ah yes, "Build an interface between null and void". I get this sort of request surprisingly often.

    As the others are noting, you can always provide an estimate, but you need to qualify the level of confidence. "As things stand, I think it'll take X people Y weeks, and I'm 10% confident of my answer. When they get system P built to the point where I can see the data and test the interface, I can give you estimates with 90% confidence." Or some such.

  • A co-worker sometimes pulls out this quote he attributes to a former manager: "You go ahead and get started coding and I will find out what they want."