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Comment: It's research (Score 2) 244

by plopez (#49141703) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Programming is basically research and development You are building something which has never been built before. As such how do you estimate something if you have nothing to compare it to?

Actually though I have a limited amount of experience using Function Point Analysis. Some of the aspects of it are old, it was created before web apps became pervasive, but that doesn't matter. The principles are the same and there are dimensionless constants you can use to tune the FPA model to your organization. Eventually you end up with an empirical model of your programming team, development environment, tool suite, management efficiency, complexity of the problem domain, people quitting or dying, etc. You need to avoid over fitting however and recalibrate from time-to-time.

Agile keeps story points and velocity which serve the same purpose as the dimensionless constants of FPA. Unfortunately managers try to translate them to mythical man hours. But if you keep velocity or function points, whether you are using Agile or not, you should be able to get some idea. You have to be a bit scientific about it.

That and 'T-Shirt Sizing' is about as good as it gets.

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 183

by plopez (#49138337) Attached to: Uber Offers Free Rides To Koreans, Hopes They Won't Report Illegal Drivers

Where I come from having insurance is required to legally license a car. The type of insurance is actually up to the insurance company. They demand more coverage as the more miles you drive and longer hours driving put you into another risk pool. Basic Actuarial Science. Running the kids and their friends to the football game after school is very different from picking up drunks at 2 am.

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 183

by plopez (#49136719) Attached to: Uber Offers Free Rides To Koreans, Hopes They Won't Report Illegal Drivers

Where I am from you are an independent, or the franchise you work for requires it, you MUST have business insurance. E.g. if a real estate agent driving a customer to a showing has an accident there MUST be insurance to cover any injuries to the customer. What Uber wants is a free ride.

Comment: Re:i always thought this was a good idea (Score 1) 236

by plopez (#49132159) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

Part of the problem is start up costs. To do serious research you need labs, equipment, researchers, staff, test subjects, etc. If you have that much money the bounty had better be huge so that you do not just decide to play the stock market or real estate instead. Government funding of reesearch is needed to overcome these inherent barriers. Government is probably the only real solution to the problem.

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.