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You've quoted your time that it will take certain time to produce a piece of software.

When you have started the project, is it better to go hard at the beginning and cruise later? or to try to maintain a consistent effort throughout the project?

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closed as not constructive by maple_shaft Oct 4 '12 at 0:31

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Scrum! Scrum! Scrum! Scrum! Ok, now you owe me $20 for my awesome advice. – Job Mar 15 '11 at 17:30
I've been involved in a scrum before and I like the approach but my situation is that I've started at a new company and I'm working in a team of two (technical lead and me). It's a French work environment and there's a little bit of a communication gap. The project doesn't seem to difficult, the only risk is that I don't understand things correctly... – John Shaft Mar 16 '11 at 10:45
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Take the hard parts first. They are the uncertain parts, so getting rid of those makes it easier to determine how much work you need to do yet.

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wont the hard parts themselves at times give raise to good amount of uncertainties in estimation? Also wont tackling known areas first would set stage for a definitive progress towards completion? – Aditya P Mar 15 '11 at 17:37
+1 Hard parts are often "hard" because they are just the unknowns parts. Master the unknowns and you'll have a better understanding of the overall solution AND you'll be able to quantify the time. Without any experience in solving a specific problem, how can you estimate the time to solve it? You'll have to solve it at least once first. – Klaim Mar 15 '11 at 17:44
I'll confess that it's not my estimation. I've tackled the knowns so I'm staring at the unknowns, the business logic/illogic. – John Shaft Mar 16 '11 at 10:49
@Pablo, this is even more important when the estimate is not yours. The sooner you can state with confidence that the estimate cannot hold, the better. – user1249 Mar 16 '11 at 12:41

The rate of Effort depends entirely on the Quality of the final product you wish to achieve

"Going Hard at the beginning" would allow you time to breath and pace your self when accommodating change from testing/ refactoring

The general tendency in real time is much inclined towards Cruise mode in the beginning ,making a mad rush near the deadline and finally crunching in overtime past the deadline .

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You must work for EA Games. – Joel Etherton Mar 15 '11 at 17:41
I agree but I'm trying to avoid it! – John Shaft Mar 16 '11 at 10:45

Just assume you underbid by at least double and plan accordingly.

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The "right" answer here is to get as much done as early as possible to insulate yourself from unexpected problems down the line.

The real answer here is that you do as much as you can and still have a balanced life, I can't imagine being happy having any kind of cycle where I'm repeatedly killing myself on purpose to get ahead when there is no indication that I need to.

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The real answer would Depend on whats at stake and how valuable that is in the long term. – Aditya P Mar 15 '11 at 16:44
@AdityaGameProgrammer very true! Balance is not always the best thing in the short term, but I think throwing your life out of kilter everytime you start a new project isn't going to be sustainable. – DKnight Mar 15 '11 at 16:57
All I guess that is at stake is how I'm percieved to work, being my first project in the company. I've killed myself before - I don't want to make it habitual. – John Shaft Mar 16 '11 at 10:54

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