November's issue of the Pragmatic Programmer magazine, PragPub, has my latest article, Avoiding the Infinite Abyss:
Estimating is never easy. In agile projects we try and get a better feel for estimating over the course of a project as we get more familiar with the pace and capabilities of ourselves and this particular team and technology environment. On most projects we want individual team members to come up with estimates for their own tasks, the ones they’ve selected from the current project backlog. That puts the onus of estimating on the person who actually has to do the work, a nice touch of straightforward reality in an otherwise messed-up world.But for programmers new to this style of working, or new to the team or to the technology, trying to decide on how long a task might take is kinda like trying to pick a winning lottery number: billions of choices, only one right answer.
...Read the rest at http://www.pragprog.com/magazines/2010-11/guru-meditation