17th September saw a keen and enthusiastic young Ascenders crowd learning the nuances of Effort Estimation from none other than one of the giants of the Indian IT Industry, Mr.K. Raajaram. Mr. Raajaram and Dr.Thiru go a long way back when they worked together at Vetri Software, later known as Lason India. Appreciating the neccessity for proper cost and effort estimation, the session was taken on a high priority basis requiring only an experienced professional for the purpose. There was only one unanimous decision and it was: Mr. K. Raajaram.
Mr. Raajaram was able to gauge the pulse of his class right at the outset of the session. He put the participants at ease with his down to earth, unassuming and friendly manner. He began with the need for Software Estimation and how Estimation in the general sense has always been part of life from times immemorial. His references and analogies were taken from daily life (autos, trains, idlis and dosas) and so, made a lasting and meaningful impact on the participants. Estimation , he stressed, is an approximate calculation of the effort needed to complete a project at hand. Effort, on the other hand is the time taken to complete the coding and delivery of a software package. He went on to explain the different types of Estimation i.e. Ball Park Estimation, Rough Estimation and Fair Estimation and the mandatory requirements to arrive at an estimation were elaborated. Function Point Estimation was stressed a great deal impressing on the participants the need for Function Point Analysis. A brief but effective Function Point training was imparted in the session post lunch and an exercise was also given to calculate the efforts for projects already completed so that the participants would have the benefit of reworking the existing computation, comparing notes and exploring avenues of improvement in terms of Estimation.