Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
Ben Nadel at CFUNITED 2010 (Landsdown, VA) with: Randy Brown
Ben Nadel at CFUNITED 2010 (Landsdown, VA) with: Randy Brown

Bane On Task Estimation

By Ben Nadel on

Bane is one of those characters that sticks in your mind. Cool voice. Even cooler dialogue. As such, my desire to co-opt Bane quotes to help express my love of programming continues, this time with Bane's take on task estimation (and how horrible we, as developers, are at it):


 
 
 

 
You estimate tasks like a younger man - no optimism held back. Admirable. But, mistaken.  
 
 
 

.... do you feel in charge?

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Reader Comments

@Phil,

Ha ha, thanks :D

@Chris,

They are co-opted quotes from Bane's character in Batman. So, the dude in the photo is Bane.

@Rob,

Ha ha, you and me both :D This happens too many times:

ME: I think it will take ~ 3 weeks to do it right.

PRODUCT: You have until Friday.

We've actually stopped estimating lengths at work. We now put items in buckets based on perceived complexity and total effort that might be required. We don't set something as it will only take 6 hours to complete, instead it'll go into something like "Negligible" which means the total effort across design/dev/QA/release is 40 hours or less. We've also pushed back on the "due dates". If someone can't come to us and I saw we need the item released on this date because we're doing x, y, and z based on that date, the item just goes into our work queue/Kanban backlog and is pulled when someone is available and it's next in line.

@Phil,

I really like it. We're trying to move away from estimations as well. But sometimes we get a date handed to us... over the wall... with little explanation.

@Ben,

Yeah, we still get them to do but I think my manager has been at our place long enough to throw it back at them. It's on of the perks of just being a supervisor and not a manager, I can let him do all the uncomfortable work!

@Phil,

Ha ha, word up! We actually just had a huge re-org here at work and we now have real managers. And, my manager - Dave Johnson - keeps going out of his way to tell me, "I am your human shield - let me know when I need to get in the way." It's actually really awesome :D