Around the time I first thought I’d be finished with a project I usually get totally stuck. There’s normally at least one day that I start hating everything, I want to delete all files and quit the project. I have had this for every major project so far (not so many okay). Next I take a deep breath – usually this takes about one evening talking with someone about the code. Then I throw away the code and start from scratch.
Week 1: start project, estimate: 4-6 time weeks but knowing the 80% rule my official estimate is about 12 weeks mood very optimistic and enthusiastic
Week 2: Find out the project more compex than I thought during week 1, first problems come up, mood sinks
Week 3: Starting to produce weird designs, remembring my first estimate of 4 weeks, new estimate around double time, mood sinking still
Week 4: Turning in circles, I am losing it, mood sinks towards complete frustration
Week 5: Total panic, throw away code, laugh hysterically about my own estimate of 4-6 weeks, mood manic depressive
Week 6: Start from scratch, mood rises towards careful optimism again and I am glad my official estimate was 12 weeks
Week 7: New design coming along nicely, mood stabilizes
Week 8: Back at the point where the huge problems came up in week 4, it’s still not easy. Mood: kind of scared
Week 9: Breakthrough, all of a sudden I simply understand it. Mood: happiness
Week 10-12: Wrapping up, implementing small stuff, debugging, documentation. Project finished on time.
Even though I know it’s like that (scale up or down for large and small projects) around week 4/5 I still get freaked out. Maybe I’ll learn doing some more projects.