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Project Estimation in terms of time

Deb Nath
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 12, 2008
Posts: 9
I have been asked to do the time estimation of one java project. I need to see whether the commenting is properly done or not so that it would be easy for any future programmer to start working on it.

What I think.
IMO,I should be very clear with whole application flow in order to do useful commenting. In order to make effective commenting the application should be in running state at my end. Right now I have only code base but other things are still missing.

IMO, the application is not that much big and complicated (yet I haven't gone through the application).

I want to know what parameters should be considered for this time estimation. I have never done this kind of work before. So I don't have any idea.
[ December 28, 2008: Message edited by: Deb Nath ]
Mark Herschberg
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Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Moving to process forum...
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30370
    
150

Deb,
It's more than just the comments. Sometimes comments are wrong. And sometimes code is hard to understand even without comments. I think it's more important to see how easy to read a piece of code is rather than just seeing whether it is commented.

It's hard to estimate for a code base you are unfamiliar with.


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Deb Nath
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 12, 2008
Posts: 9
Jeanne, Thanks for your input. I know that it's something weird that client has asked me to do. But this is what it is.I will have to do it.No escape.

It's not like that commenting is completely missed. I need to make sure it's been done properly if programmer missed it somewhere.

I think it's more important to see how easy to read a piece of code is rather than just seeing whether it is commented.
I do think the same that's why I told that the application should be in running state at my end to do useful commenting.

But how can I estimate that it will take X months to complete the task?
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Deb Nath:

But how can I estimate that it will take X months to complete the task?


Ignoring the need to estimate for a moment, how would you know that the task is finished?


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Deb Nath
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 12, 2008
Posts: 9
Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:
Ignoring the need to estimate for a moment, how would you know that the task is finished?
Which Task? Do you mean the coding part? There is no way for me to know whether the task os finished or not even if I go throug through the code. But I can comment whatever I understand once I go through the code. I mean I can try my best. I am not involved in the development. A new fresh code base is in front of me and I have been asked to do proper commenting.

What point you guys are trying to make? It's not something that is possible? It looks foolish? or If I am supposed to be the next developer on this project then only I should go for that and only commenting isn't possible? Please show me some path. Because this questions/answers confuse me more?
[ December 30, 2008: Message edited by: Deb Nath ]
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Deb Nath:
Which Task? Do you mean the coding part? There is no way for me to know whether the task os finished or not even if I go throug through the code. But I can comment whatever I understand once I go through the code. I mean I can try my best. I am not involved in the development. A new fresh code base is in front of me and I have been asked to do proper commenting.


If I understand correctly, the task you are trying to estimate is commenting code?

Estimating basically is basically done by asking yourself "if I had as much time as I'd like working on this, when would be the moment that I'd feel this task is DONE?" So, to be able to estimate, you need to first get a definition of DONE.

So, what's the defintion of DONE you will be using for that commenting task?
Deb Nath
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 12, 2008
Posts: 9
Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:
So, what's the definition of DONE you will be using for that commenting task?
I have to go through the code, understand the code (class,methods,variables) and do the necessary commenting on each of them then I would say I am DONE with the task. Right now I feel that I would be going through this steps,if I start working on it.
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Deb Nath:
I have to go through the code, understand the code (class,methods,variables) and do the necessary commenting on each of them then I would say I am DONE with the task. Right now I feel that I would be going through this steps,if I start working on it.


How do you know that all the necessary commenting is DONE? That is, when do you stop writing or improving comments, in the knowledge that you have delivered what was promised?
Deb Nath
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 12, 2008
Posts: 9
I am totally frustrated...

Are you in a mood to answer me? You keep asking me.
OK lets take it in this way. If You have been asked to do the same stuff? What would you do?

No more questions please.I a looking for answer.
[ December 30, 2008: Message edited by: Deb Nath ]
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Deb Nath:
I am totally frustrated...


I'm sorry. I'm trying to give you best help I can, really.


Are you in a mood to answer me? You keep asking me.
OK lets take it in this way. If You have been asked to do the same stuff? What would you do?


I would first try to come up with an answer to my question. And I can't do that for you, because your answer would be different from mine. That's why I'm asking you. I can't help you further before I know the answer to that question.


No more questions please.I a looking for answer.


The ironic thing is that you are the only one who really can answer it. We "only" can assist you in the process of coming up with it.
Barry Andrews
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 05, 2000
Posts: 523

Let me see if I can help. So... what I think you're saying is that this is a hard task to estimate because to do the estimate you need to actually do the work, i.e. you need to fully understand the code. Is that correct? ( I know, no more questions. )
But it's like this with any estimate. You just have to give the best estimate you can. Your manager will understand if you are a little late, as long as you don't have consistently short estimates and are always late. Most of the time you will do a little of the work to get a good estimate.
If I were tackling this problem, I would first try to get a very high level understanding of the code; not even go through each class, just get a basic understanding of what the program or API does. Then I would take one of the classes and actually do the work. Don't take the hardest one or the easiest, but somewhere in between. You should be able to get a feel for how long it will take to do all of them based on commenting the one class.
Are there unit tests? This can be very valuable in determining how a class was meant to be used.
Also, I assume the person that wrote the code is no longer there? I'm probably pointing out the obvious, but that person would be the best resource and could affect your estimate.
 
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