Sunday, January 24, 2010

Real Engineers don't give ETAs

Recently I had an interesting observation, followed up by a very interesting discussion with a few Engineers (on Skype obviously).

The initial observation is that - "Real Engineers don't give ETAs." ETA meaning estimated time of arrival, often used in project planning to describe the date on which a software release will happen.

Here's why Real Engineers don't give ETAs ---
  • Real Engineers just get it done.
  • Real Engineers think "Why waste time in calculating an ETA, when you can code in the same time?"
  • Real Engineers JUST write code ...
  • "Real Engineers aren't bothered about the time-line but the quality of their code ..."
  • "ETAs are at times a good way for an engineer to communicate with a non-engineer :)"
  • "(asking someone else to give the ETA) It allows the engineer to completely focus on solving the problem at hand without much distraction."
Real Engineers actually came up with yet-another-definition of ETA - "Estimated Time of Amnesia". That's the time when everybody (other than the Engineer) starts forgetting "what was actually promised" ... I would love to know your thoughts on this.

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Blogger ranjan said...

Hmm, interesting post! The definition is very passionate one however, in my opinion, ETA forces engineer to think of tradeoffs/risks early on, which is part of life and eventually leads an engineer to become more reliable one!

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The code of piece an engineer is supposed to give ETA for is just one of the pieces in entire jigsaw puzzle. Considering this a big project having multiple enginners coding their own part. ETA helps to proritize and schedule complete project work. Of course a programmer is interested in coding more than that solving problem however we do not get paid to work for our interest but produce results which are going to earn/support a customer.

1:00 PM  

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