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Estimating Software Costs by Capers Jones

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Chapter 1Introduction

Software cost estimating has been an important but difficult task since the beginning of the computer era in the 1940s. As software applications have grown in size and importance, the need for accuracy in software cost estimating has grown, too.

In the early days of software, computer programs were typically less than 1000 machine instructions in size (or less than 30 function points), required only one programmer to write, and seldom took more than a month to complete. The entire development costs were often less than $5000. Although cost estimating was difficult, the economic consequences of cost-estimating errors were not very serious.

Today some large software systems exceed 25 million source code statements (or more ...

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