When we estimate time and budget needs for software, we largely use methods that are echoes of echoes of echoes -- they're part of an oral tradition, rather than designed and engineered solutions. The result: engineers don't like estimating, estimates can't be relied on for business decisions, and everyone suffers in the cargo-cult of velocity.
Starting with human concerns and business needs, we'll investigate an evidence-based approach to estimation. From that starting point, we'll take a stroll across the manifold of possible software development processes, and see how adjusting one small part of industry standard practice can lead to radical changes to the whole.
Finally, with estimation as a case-study, we'll ask what other moments in software development can act as nucleators for larger change.
Sam Bleckley is a Software Engineer with a background in fine art, and is passionate about both technical and human concerns. He has written software for wide-ranging needs, including machine learning research, computational biochemistry, and Bay area web startups. He currently works at Mutually Human.