Chapter 1Introduction

What Is Software Estimation?

Estimation: It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of a subject requires, and not to seek exactness where an approximation may suffice.

—Aristotle, 330 BC

Estimation is a frequently occurring phenomenon in our everyday lives. When we leave home for the office in the morning, we roughly estimate the time it will take to reach the office. When we plan to make a business analysis presentation in a meeting, we estimate the time it will take to complete the presentation, perhaps including time for questions and answers as well. A building contractor estimates the schedule and cost required to construct a building according to specific requirements. ...

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