# [grand-rapids-pm-list] New to the group

Steve D Poling sdpoling at comcast.net
Thu Jul 27 06:26:54 PDT 2006

```Mr. Burns' idea isn't completely stupid if you're better acquainted with
the weight of rocks than that of hogs.

Moreover, if you have an unbiased estimator and can add accurately,
breaking up one estimation of a big hog into a zillion estimates of
individual rocks will result in a closer answer because half your single
rock estimates will be too ig and half will be too small and those
errors will average out to zero. Voila. (Once you went along with my
premise of an "unbiased" estimator, you made this trick mathematically
valid.)

As for COCOMO and software estimation: I keep a set of multi-sided
Dungeons & Dragons dice in my desk...

mheusser at charter.net wrote:
>> Burn's Hog Weighing Method:
>>       (1) Get a perfectly symmetrical plank and balance it across a sawhorse.
>>        (2) Put the hog on one end of the plank.
>>        (3) Pile rocks on the other end until the plank is again perfectly
>>            balanced.
>>        (4) Carefully guess the weight of the rocks.
>>                -- Robert Burns
>>
>
> haha.
>
> There's actually a software estimation method called COCOMO that is very similar.
>
> Basically, it says that the effort of developing the software is predictable based on the number of lines of code.  Take the # of lines of code, plug in a formula, and out pops your person-months.
>
> This was a cutting-edge estimation technique in the 1980's. I've heard of people who have actually claimed to have tried to use it. :-)
>
> The only problem is: How do you estimate the number of lines of code? :-)
>
> Regards,
>
> --heusser
>
>
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>
```