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The Perils of Agile Estimation (Part 1)

March 23, 2021

Estimation has always been an inflection point in the software engineering world. Many developers admit that one of the hardest parts of their job is not about naming things or invalidating caches (as the old saying goes) but giving estimates. Certainly, for many experienced software engineers, estimates have always been the most frequent area of friction between software developers and managers. Both sides seem to have valid arguments: managers want to know how long things will take, as they need to manage budgets and customer expectations. Developers, on the other hand, know that most software tasks cannot be estimated accurately enough to satisfy the manager's needs. This friction has been so intense that it's given rise to the #NoEstimates movement and many flame wars on social media. But is the choice truly between one of these two extreme positions, or can a happy medium be found that satisfies both sides?

This series of articles attempts to explore and answer this question.

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