Saturday, 16 August 2008


Ok, maybe I wasn't clear in my inspiration post. Just to clarify: the "inspiration thing" usually only happens for me once in a blue moon!

Strangely, my time estimation ability seems the opposite way around to most people. I think most people tend to underestimate the "bigger picture" and it's only when they drill down to the sub tasks and really think about what each element consists of that they put a more realistic estimate together for the overall project.

I think I tend to overestimate projects on a whole (because I'm pessimistic / realistic), then when I try to estimate how long sub tasks will take, I forget how pessimistic I am and grossly underestimate them.

Many years ago, I came up with a rule of thumb: ANYTHING you do on a computer will take 10 times longer than you expect it to. The simplest of tasks always seemed to take an order of magnitude longer than I had planned. (I wanted to call it "Tim's law of computing" - then I discovered Douglas Hofstadter already coined a virtually identical law).

I still forget the rule of thumb, even today.

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