The Truth about Estimating Software Development Time [story]

Matt Warcholinski
2 min readFeb 22, 2018


If you have ever worked in IT, then you have probably faced the problem of not meeting software development estimations. And you know how hard it is to do it properly.

I’ve heard a really interesting dialog lately about the estimations in software development.

It’s a talk between a PM and a developer.

PM: Listen man, you are an experienced developer. Tell me why do you estimate tasks incorrectly so often?

Dev: Imagine that you have to unload a truck. How much time does it take?

PM: A couple of hours.

Dev: It’s a lorry truck.

PM: 8 hours.

Dev: It’s a lorry truck loaded with sand.

PM: 12 hours.

Dev: You don’t have any shovel or tools, just the hands.

PM: 2 days.

Dev: Outdoors is -40℃.

PM: 4 days.

Dev: The lorry truck is underwater.

PM: It doesn’t make any sense, you keep changing the conditions! Why do you tell me all this. You developers are constantly telling some nonsense instead of simply estimating your work time.

And how do you deal with estimations?

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Matt Warcholinski

I build highly scalable JavaScript apps @