Jacob Kaplan-Moss

Tag: software

Estimating Software Projects: Breaking Down Tasks March 11th, 2024

Something missing from this series on estimation, until now, has been a discussion of how to “break down” a project into a well-defined task list. I’d not previously written about this because, to me, it’s largely intuitive. But it isn’t for everyone, so this post fills the gap, and explains in detail how I break down projects into a task list.

Is this a parable about software development? October 13th, 2022

You tell me.

Quality Is Systemic September 9th, 2022

Software quality is more the result of a system designed to produce quality, and not so much the result of individual performance. That is: a group of mediocre programmers working with a structure designed to produce quality will produce better software than a group of fantastic programmers working in a system designed with other goals.

Estimating Software Projects: So you messed up. Now what? June 8th, 2021

You’ve made and committed to a timeline, but your estimate was wrong. The timeline’s going to slip. Now what?

Estimating Software Projects: The art of the SWAG June 2nd, 2021

Sometimes, it’s more important to be able to produce a quick estimate than it is to produce a good one. In those cases, reach for the SWAG: the Simple Wild-Ass Guess. To a large degree making a (good) SWAG is an intuitive process, but I’ve tried to unpack what’s happening in that short moment and give some thoughts about when a SWAG is appropriate, and how to give one.

Estimating Software Projects: My Software Estimation Technique May 25th, 2021

Last time, I explained that, although estimating software project timelines is hard, you should do it anyway. With that background, I want to go into some detail and share the technique I use when I need to develop a project timeline. I don’t believe there’s a single “correct” technique; this is one system that works well for me. However, my system does have one critical characteristic that I believe any effective estimation technique should have: it captures both time and uncertainty.

Estimating Software Projects: Software Estimation Is Hard. Do It Anyway. May 20th, 2021

It’s well established that estimating software projects is hard. This is true, but you should learn how anyway.

Help desk software? March 4th, 2011

I’m looking for some help-desk style software with some very specific features: Users create new help requests by emailing a [email protected] email. There should be some sort of concept of “support queues” with each queue having an associated email address. So there might be a “sales” queue by emailing [email protected], a client-specific queue at [email protected], etc. New issues (i.e. new emails) get automatically assigned to one of a pool of support staff.…

Professionalism July 4th, 2009

Yes, it’d be nice if contractors kept up to date on the progress of the various building codes. They don’t. There are a lot of people who asked about the building codes in the 1970s and were told (right or wrong) what they were. So they went ahead and learned their trade, build their homes, and chose watching a DVD or spending time with their kids over watching city council do battle over asbestos insulation.…