Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art: Demystifying the Black Art

Front Cover
Microsoft Press, Nov 30, 2009 - Computers - 352 pages
22 Reviews

Often referred to as the “black art” because of its complexity and uncertainty, software estimation is not as difficult or puzzling as people think. In fact, generating accurate estimates is straightforward—once you understand the art of creating them. In his highly anticipated book, acclaimed author Steve McConnell unravels the mystery to successful software estimation—distilling academic information and real-world experience into a practical guide for working software professionals. Instead of arcane treatises and rigid modeling techniques, this guide highlights a proven set of procedures, understandable formulas, and heuristics that individuals and development teams can apply to their projects to help achieve estimation proficiency.

Discover how to:

  • Estimate schedule and cost—or estimate the functionality that can be delivered within a given time frame
  • Avoid common software estimation mistakes
  • Learn estimation techniques for you, your team, and your organization * Estimate specific project activities—including development, management, and defect correction
  • Apply estimation approaches to any type of project—small or large, agile or traditional
  • Navigate the shark-infested political waters that surround project estimates


When many corporate software projects are failing, McConnell shows you what works for successful software estimation.

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Review: Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art

User Review  - Graham Lee - Goodreads

Bad engineering, bad statistics, bad prose. Read full review

Review: Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art

User Review  - Simon - Goodreads

This book gives a great detail description of what it means to estimate applied to the software engineering context. It starts off by defining what an estimate is, common problems with estimates, and ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

Steve McConnell is recognized as one of the premier authors and voices in the development community. He is Chief Software Engineer of Construx Software and was the lead developer of Construx Estimate and of SPC Estimate Professional, winner of Software Development magazine's Productivity Award. He is the author of several books, including Code Complete and Rapid Development, both honored with Software Development magazine's Jolt Award.

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