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Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art by Steve McConnell

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The most unsuccessful three years in the education of cost estimators appears to be fifth-grade arithmetic.

Norman R. Augustine

Software estimation is not hard. Experts have been researching and writing about software estimation for four decades, and they have developed numerous techniques that support accurate software estimates. Creating accurate estimates is straightforward—once you understand how to create them. But not all estimation practices are intuitively obvious, and even smart people won’t discover all the good practices on their own. The fact that someone is an expert developer doesn’t make that person an expert estimator.

Numerous aspects of estimation are not what they seem. Many so-called estimation problems arise from misunderstanding ...

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