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The Developer's Code by Ka Wai Cheung

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Essay 43Value Is Much More Than Time

How much is our work worth to the client?

When we estimate the value of a project, it’s pretty much industry-standard that we do so based on the sheer amount of time it takes. We take a guess at how long something might take, pad for uncertainties, multiply by an hourly rate, and hope the final estimate feels right to us before we push it to the client. There’s an unsatisfying arbitrariness to it all.

Should working 200 hours cost twice as much as working 100 hours? Everyone, from individual contractors to multimillion-dollar development shops, has a billable hour.

Is this the way we should value our work? Does the amount of time we spend consulting, designing, developing, debugging, and testing really ...

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