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Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art (Developer Best Practices) - by Steve McConnell

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So while I am in a book reviewing mood. This book by Steve McConnell (of Code Complete Fame) I now keep on my desk. It is a reference on all the important topics in software project management. The book is expertly laid out so you can read it in the order which you need for your situation. If you are on a project and you need help there are instructions in the introduction on which order to read, if you are a top-down kind of person there is an order and if you are a bottom up kind of person yet another order.

I was giving a class on the topic and made a list of all the important topics to cover, when I got this book I found that it covered them all and then some. This is hands down the best project management book I have read.

I really liked the discussion on the difference between a Target Date and a Deadline and also the Cone of Uncertainty in general. Whether you are using Agile methods or more traditional sequential methods to run your projects, this book will help you either way. 

Perhaps my favorite part of the book is an excercise on estimation where he asks readers to estimate things like the temperature of the surface of the sun, you can make a range as wide as you need to - but you have to make the range wide enough to have 90% confidence that the correct answer is within your range - most people fail miserably at doing this!

Check it out here : https://amzn.to/2SszcbR



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My favorite part of this book are the scripts between the programmers and the managers.  It immediately became clear to me how I was doing a bad job at informing my manager of my progress and why even crude estimates are so important.

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