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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 to work with, and it pushes some responsibility back onto them.