What is the status?
Does anybody realize that asking a developer what the status of the project is, is akin to asking a criminal what his sentence should be?
"Your honor. That international drug cartel I was running was just something I was doing before I could get a regular job. I deserve AT MOST, 20 hours community service"
I sympathize. :-)
Lost in the jungle
January 23rd, 2006
"So, how long until the project's ready to ship."
"What? You said that two weeks ago!"
"So why did you bother asking again then? I already told you!"
It depends on the person asking.
In most software projects I've been involved with, either the customer or my manager has some unrealistic image of what should be done and how long it should take.
Also, note that software progress (amount of code written, amount of code tested) tends to be really low in the beginning (when you're doing mostly design) and LOC/day then ramps up quite high in the last half of the project.
Combining these two (unrealism, plus back-end productivity) provides a strong encouragement to be optimistic about progress early in the project.
It depends on the person because it depends on how unrealistic their expectations are, and it depends on how ready they are to listen to reality, and it depends on how much evidence it requires to 'prove' to them what the new schedule should be.
The result is projects that seem to be on-track for 90% of the time, then require months of additional time at the end to bring them to completion.
And it puts a developer in a very awkward situation to be asked "what is the status" when he knows the literal truth will be poorly recieved.
January 24th, 2006