planning and estimation

We spend an extraordinary amount of time planning our development, because it is so costly to get any amount of code written. Developers are asked to give estimates. They demand to know what is in scope down to the individual operation. It’s crazy how much design work and detail needs to be thought through before reaching that point. Then, they estimate maybe 10-20hr of work per method. Even a tiny piece of functionality results in estimates in several person-weeks of effort. This is how software professionals get their jobs done.

Where have all the hackers gone?

I came up with a cool idea on the weekend. I decided to code it sunday. I spent about four hours in total coding the entire thing, analyzing and designing, as I went. It turned to be over 2000 lines, which I proceeded to unit test. I put in another three hours tonight debugging a rather obscure problem (actually wasting 2.5 hours chasing a non-existent bug due to my own stupidity), which I discovered in my sleep the other night.

I simply cannot understand why experienced software professionals cannot hack out 3000 lines of unit tested code on a good day, and average 1000 lines of unit tested code per working day, with low bug counts.

I’m almost glad to see that many of North America’s grunt coding jobs are being outsourced to India. The cost of our software professionals in combination with their low productivity and high maintenance attitude is unbearable.

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