Re: How much documentation for 1000 hours of programming?

Subject: Re: How much documentation for 1000 hours of programming?
From: Kent Newton <KentN -at- METRIX-INC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 1996 22:04:00 PST

On Wednesday, March 27, 1996 6:32 PM, Richard Mateosian quoted an
unidentified member:
>>For instance, if it's estimated that an enhancement to a given software
>>system is going to take 1,000 man hours to design and code; can we
estimate
>>how many hours to budget for a user manual (user only; no technical
>>reference or system admin manuals)?

He then replied"
>No.

>Your thousand-hour enhancement might be totally invisible to the user,
so no
>change to documentation is required.

>On the other hand, your enhancement might so thoroughly change the
product's
>relationship with the real-world application that you'll need a complete
>revision of your entire documentation set.

>There's no way to determine this information from the number of
programming
>hours. ...RM

I'll second that! I've had programmers spend several man-weeks on a
project that required a one-line change in the documentation. Then I've
had them spend one man-day adding a little field to several screens which
required a week of my time to capture the screens, clean them up, pop
them in the documentation, and add the relevant text.

Kent Newton
Senior Technical Writer
Metrix, Inc.
kentn -at- metrix-inc -dot- com


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