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Questioning Extreme Programming by Pete McBreen

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Chapter 14. Is the Cost of Change Really Low?

The economics of software development are weird.

The cost of change controversy is such an important part of the debate over Extreme Programming that it needs to be looked at in detail. As we saw in Chapter 1, the assumption that the cost of change is exponential is just that, an assumption. There is no real data one way or another about the cost of change in modern software.

The original evidence for an exponential cost of change came from Boehm's book Software Engineering Economics [Boehm, 1981, p. 40–41]. What most people miss when they read this reference is that there are actually two lines on the famous graph. One supports the well-known assertion that various factors combine to “make the error ...

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