The perils of estimation

“the more detailed you estimate, the more the total will tend towards infinity”

Dan North & Associates

Business people want estimates. They want to know how much it’s going to cost them to get a solution, and they want to know how likely it is to come in on time and on budget. And of course quality is not negotiable.

Agile teams I encounter are at best nervous about estimates and at worst simply evasive. “You don’t need estimates if you’re doing Agile,” they say. “It will be ready when it’s done. We’re constantly adding value so we don’t need to commit to a date.”

We’re missing the point of release planning

My favourite exchange goes something like:

“We’ve done an inception and broken down the entire project into stories and measured it, and it’s come in at 400 stories, estimated at 865 story points.”

“865 what?”

“865 story points.”

“So how big is a story point?”

“We don’t know yet, we’ll let you know in…

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My CocoaPods Catalog

I can tell you the license plate number on my mom’s car in 1988, but if you asked me which CocoaPods I used on my last project, I couldn’t tell you. Fortunately, through the magic of source control, I can go back in time and look through all the open source libraries I’ve used in the past. Of course, that’s kind of a huge pain in the ass to have to go back through all those projects. To that end, I’ve decided to start making my life a little bit simpler by cataloging all of the open source projects that I’ve used (plus a few that I haven’t) and made them publicly accessible via my github repo. FYI, it’s still a work in progress. OH and you’re welcome 🙂

https://github.com/lennypham/LKPCocoaPodCatalog

A dust-up is brewing in mobile payments, pitting Isis against Best Buy, 7-Eleven

Alas NFC, we hardly knew ye.

Gigaom

Best Buy(s bby) and 7-Eleven have started shutting down near-field communications (NFC) capabilities in their stores’ point-of-sale terminals, making it even harder for Isis and Google(s goog) to get their fledgling smartphone payments services off the ground.

According to a report in ComputerWorld, payments technology analysts say Best Buy and 7-Eleven began disabling the NFC readers at their checkout stands simply because of the expense. NFC-powered mobile payments have barely cracked the surface in the U.S. – stymied in part by turf wars between Isis and Google – so big retailers see little reason to support it and other smart card technologies. Also, banks are charging higher transaction fees for smart card and NFC payments, giving retailers even less incentive to get behind smartphone payment services.

But there could be a third reason that Best Buy and 7-Eleven aren’t keen on NFC. They’re part of a consortium of big…

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