Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Light Bulb: How many MS employees does it take?

An excellent article from Eric Lippert's blog.

http://blogs.msdn.com/ericlippert/archive/0001/01/01/53298.aspx


It's an old article I think some members might have already read. Be sure to follow the links in this article.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Thats Light Bulb XP you are talking about. Wait for LightBulb Longhorn

Karthik 
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I saw some data a few years ago that showed how many people it took to develop however many lines of code there were in WinXP. Then I extrapolated that to one of our company products which had about 1 million LOC and I figured we'd have to hire 40 new people to get the next version out. Somehow we did just fine with 8.

old_timer
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

<< I figured we'd have to hire 40 new people to get the next version out. Somehow we did just fine with 8>>

I hate to defend Microsoft. But there is a lot of difference between testing some code for your company with limited number of users and testing the same code to be used by a few hundred million people with varying languages, dialects, habits etc. etc..

Karthik 
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Reminds me of the lightbulb thread:

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=86386&ixReplies=27

Rickshaw (I rode the shortbus)
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Yeah, I remember reading that thread.

[QUOTE]
1. Change lightbulb
2. ????
3. Profit!
[/QUOTE]

Hillllarious!

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

"Then I extrapolated that to one of our company products ..."

Ah yes.  Because we all know that complexity scales linearly with LOC, that all LOC are equally difficult to write, and that man-months are standard metric units for measuring manpower.

Alyosha`
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

As the number of programmers increases, the productivity per programmer gets worse in just about every measurement -- LOC/day, defects, etc.

Increase the number of programmers by 100%, and you're lucky if the new and bigger team can produce as much as 50% more than before.

T. Norman
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

double the quote and use the next larger unit of time.

trollop
Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Read and reread "The Mythical Man-Month"  by Frederick Brooks'  ( Addison-Wesley, 1975, revised 1995).

I know,  I know you have, but some reader may not.

trollop
Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I would re-read it but someone borrowed it and didn't return it.

MilesArcher
Wednesday, July 21, 2004

None of that should be a surprise to anyone who has worked in a company that produces a shrinkwrapped app.  Coders obviously have a coder-centric view of the business, because they have the luxury of holding that view.  But it takes a tremendous level of effort to do anything release-worthy.

www.ChristopherHawkins.com
Wednesday, July 21, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home