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Going IT Alone: The Handbook for Freelance and Contract Software Developers by Leon Brown

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Chapter 11. Creating Quotes and Estimates

The cost of a project isn't a major issue for you when the client is paying on per hour worked basis, but is a difficult issue when working to a fixed price. Accuracy of identifying a total price is still important for projects paid by the hour because clients will not be happy to receive a bill that is multiple times higher than you originally suggested. Knowing effective methods for producing accurate estimates for both fixed price and time based projects will save you a lot of headaches when it comes to getting the client to pay.

A good consideration for all estimation is Hofstadter's Law, which emphasizes the difficulty of accurate estimation for tasks of substantial complexity—despite all best efforts ...

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