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Comment This method never fails (Score 1) 135

Here's how to calculate a 100% accurate estimate 100% of the time, when your manager asks you to predict how long it will take to implement feature X:

1. Tell your manager you'll get the estimate for them as soon as you've done the necessary research
2. Go back to your desk
3. Write down the current time
4. Implement the feature
5. Subtract the time you wrote down in step (3) from the current time. This is your 100% accurate estimate of how long it took you to implement the feature
6. Email your manager, and let them know the estimate value. If you're feeling like it, you can also let them know that the feature is now implemented (although this may make them feel like the estimate you gave them is no longer particularly useful, so treat cautiously there)

Comment Re:Not just software. (Score 1) 135

For example, if the last time you did it, it took 3 weeks, a good prediction is that this time it's going to take 3 weeks.

Hopefully it will take less, because this time I will be able to take the code I wrote last time and just re-use it, possible with some minor modifications, rather than designing and implementing it all from scratch.

(Or if I can't do that, then either it's a new task and there wasn't actually any "last time I did it", or I did a lousy job last time of designing my code to be re-usable. Software development is mainly about automating previously manual processes so they can be repeated more quickly/easily in the future; that applies to the process of writing the software itself also)

Comment Plane Truth [Re:Why??] (Score 1) 134

who invented flight thing over again, they will just keep on redefining what flight is until they are first.

Not comparable to this situation per sister message, but as far as the first manned plane flight, the definition matters because it was relatively trivial to attach a motor to a propeller and then to a thing with wings and lunge sky-ward for a short period of time. After all, gliders, as in hang-gliders, were already common by then.

One could argue it was really an evolution, but the Wright Brothers were way ahead of the others in terms of control for several years regardless of who made the first lunge into the air. They were doing figure-8's when others could barely turn.

They finally lost that distinction when others moved and perfected the "tail" on the back instead of the front, which made planes safer.

Comment Re:Why?? (Score 1) 134

Why are Americans so desperate to prove that everything happened there first...[such as] who invented flight...

What is "first" in this bone case in terms of competitor nations? I don't see any relationship between that and planes. If the claim were that Americans reached America before Europeans did, then it may be comparable, but then its meaningless. I-dont-geddit

Comment Re:I Have No Trouble Making Accurate and Precise.. (Score 1) 135

I've done many project plans for clients, and when I give them the results, they always bitch. But, when the project is actually delivered, they finally agree that I was right in the first place. After that, it gets easier...[with] THOSE clients.

Indeed. Many PHB's have to learn the hard way:

"Who knew healthcare would be so difficult?"
     

Comment Re:No, but they require planning (Score 2) 135

The product was finished as described in the requirement documents, but generally didn't work 100% like the customer expected.

Yip, generally it's easy to make an estimate for a clear specification. But, customers rarely know what they REALLY want until they see something in production. This is a very common problem. I don't know any easy solution to that: mind-reading machines don't exist.

One partial solution is for the technical analyst to become a domain expert first. But obviously this is often not practical. Further, sometimes the main customer/manager wants something rather odd that is a quirk of their personality. You may build something that fits the domain, but they want to see their domain in peculiar quirky way.

Another partial solution is "RAD": Rapid application development tools. Someone who knows the tool well can usually spit out something pretty quick and change it fairly quick.

However, RAD tools are not known to be very flexible in the longer run, such as when UI styles and expectations change. They achieve RAD in part by marrying business logic to the UI. This marriage makes less "marshaling" code between the database, biz logic, and the UI; BUT also hard-wires it to UI assumptions. Keeping up with the UI Kardashians can be a major PITA. Just when GUI's were maturing, web came along. Just when web was maturing, multi-device-handling needs came along. The current "in" thing is going to be klunky because it's not mature yet.

For now, it looks like we are stuck with some degree of organic meandering to get something the customer is actually happy with; but organic meandering takes more time and money and is hard to estimate up front.

Comment Re:High-brow fails [Re:It depends on the use] (Score 1) 408

That's true. But it's hard to know what will be "mainstream" in a decade or so. I'm not convinced FP will "trickle down" to mainstream (4-yr-degree staff), at least as a primary technique. It's been around for roughly 60 years (at least as Lisp). If it doesn't go mainstream within 60 years, it probably won't by 70 either.

Thus, it may not match or be part of the evolution pattern you outlined.

Even when GUI's first came out, I couldn't predict they'd go mainstream. While I thought it was "cool", I thought it may stay limited to graphical applications because for non-graphical applications they don't make one more productive than a well-designed command and/or character-based interface. (And still don't.) What I didn't count on was that most found they are easier to learn (pick up). I didn't know that issue would override others in users/manangers' minds.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple (Score 1) 240

I happen to like cold water, at least in the summertime.

However, I really don't like icemakers in freezers. 1) They take up a lot of space, and 2) they use tap water, which is nasty. There doesn't seem to be a way to easily plumb them to use the RO water I buy, so the icemaker in my freezer just sits unused, wasting space. And no, those crappy filters they put in fridges these days are not a proper substitute. 1) They're not reverse osmosis, they're just shitty charcoal filters, and 2) they're horribly expensive to replace.

They should make icemakers easily removable. I'm perfectly capable of making ice myself with trays, which lets me use the water I prefer and not the nasty tap crap.

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