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Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 30th annual COCOMO Forum in Arlington, VA.  As always it was an informative and enjoyable exchange of software and system estimating topics and challenges with some of the brightest practitioners in the industry.  Topics ranged from technical debt and software maintenance, early phase effort and schedule estimation, COSMIC function points and various data analytics topics.  In addition to the presentations there were several lively workshop panels discussing and debating future directions for the COCOMO and CoSysmo models (contemplating the 3.0 versions of each of these models. While all the talks were ...
Original Post Date: September 30, 2015 ‘It’s crazy to think that you’ll be good at estimating things that haven’t happened yet, if you can’t even accurately say how long things that have happened took.”  This quote from the blog post “5 Ways Software Developers Can Become Better at Estimation” (http://www.javacodegeeks.com/2014/10/5-ways-software-developers-can-become-better-at-estimation.html)  speaks volumes.  The current mantra – at least in the Aerospace and Defense communities is data driven estimation.  Estimates without solid project history data to back them up are consistently rejected or approved with substantial risk assigned.  Data collection in the world of estimation is no longer a nice to ...
Original Post date: September 30, 2015 I recently read an interesting article in IEEE Spectrum “The 2015 Top Ten Programming Languages” (http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/the-2015-top-ten-programming-languages).  The article fairly states that popularity of a programming language is clearly subjective – depending on what the goals of the end user are but they tried to adjust their weightings based on their perception of the interests of the members of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Many of the results of their ranking were expected and not particularly interesting.  Java, C, C++, C# and Python continue to be the top 5 programming languages that developers ...
Original Post Date: September 30, 2015 The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of things (people, objects, animals, etc) that can share data without human to human or human to machine interactions.  A ‘thing’ in the IoT represents any object that can be assigned an IP address and can transfer data over a network.  Examples of such objects include an animal with a microchip embedded in its collar to monitor health or for easy location, a person wearing an activity tracker, a person with a medical implant that communicates health conditions to a hospital or health care professional, a ...
Original Post Date: June 19, 2015 Ward Cunningham introduced the notion of technical debt in 1992, writing “Shipping first time code is like going into debt.  A little debt speeds up development so long as it is paid back promptly with a rewrite”.  Technical debt can be described as a quantification of the amount of ‘should fix’ issues that remain in production code.  The term “technical debt” is a metaphor used to ease business leaders understanding of the costs of making poor decisions during development or making wise decisions during development (such as a short cut to meet a time ...
Original Post Date: June 18, 2015 There is a movement afoot suggesting that there may be compelling reasons for employees to use their own technology (phones, laptops, tablets) in the workplace.  And it may actually be a movement inspired by employees not employers.  A recent survey (http://www.zdnet.com/article/research-74-percent-using-or-adopting-byod/) found that 74% of employers are allowing (or plan to allow in the near future) employees to use their Personal Mobile Devices (PMDs) for business purposes.  The benefits to the employee of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) include the convenience of not having to lug around personal and business devices, the ability to ...
Original Post Date: April 27, 2015 Check out this article ‘Pizza as a Service’ (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140730172610-9679881-pizza-as-a-service) which uses Pizza to describe the different delivery models for cloud computing.  It presents a good case that should be understandable to anyone who has ever eaten a pizza and should provide a great guide to organizational decision makers when considering cloud solutions for their business.  The author uses pizza analogies to describe Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (Saas) in an effort to provide non-technical folks a way to think about cloud computing options ...
Being that software measurement is a topic of great interest, I will occasionally look to Google for inspiration and trends.  Often these searches will return several of my own papers and it’s fun to revisit them and think about how much as things change, they remain the same. Recently, I stumbled across a paper I had written many years ago – it was in fact the second or third article that I had published in a magazine (see the article here).  I read through it briefly and was really struck by how relevant it still is today.  The paper ...
The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) which Congress passed in December of 2014 is touted as the “biggest legislative overhaul in nearly 20 years to the way the federal government procures, budgets and maintains IT”  (read more in this report).  And even in this day and age of extreme political gaming, one issue on which there is consensus in Washington and across the country is the fact that the federal government (and the American people) would certainly benefit by getting their IT house in order.  The act strives to put the authority and responsibility for IT decisions ...
Recently I was asked for more detail about the implementation of COSMIC Function Points as a functional size measure for the software estimation model in TruePlanning® (True S).  Common Software Measurement International Consortium (COSMIC) is a group of software measurement experts who in 1998 recognized the need to improve on the traditional function point methods.  Because the origin of International Function Point User Group (IFPUG) Function Points with IBM, the method tends to favor business systems (though advances have been made to extend IFPUG Function Points with “Software Non-Functional Assessment Process (SNAP) – more on this to come in ...