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Summary and Comments

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1997-07-30 11:46:08


A Programmer Can Correct 100,000 lines Per Year



Even with the proper software tools, a competent programmer can correct fewer than 200,000 lines of code per year. It may be closer to 100,000 lines. This is the estimate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In estimaing the likelihood of a completed y2k repair, find out how many lines of code are in the programs in the system. Then find out how many programmers are working on the job, including those who are "outsourced." Divide the number of lines of code by the number of programmers. This will give you the minimum number of years for the task's completion, from its start to its finish (if all of these programmers have been working on the project continuously -- a very optimistic assumptuon). Then find out when they began the progamming part of the repair (if they are even at that stage today).

Then subtract one year: the year needed for testing. Deadline: December 31, 1998.

There are only 500,000 mainframe programmers in the United States, and most of them are working on maintenance and program development, not y2k.

Conclusion: all organizations won't finish the y2k repairs. Most will not.

There is no escape from the Millennium Bug. The numbers tell all.

* * * * * * * * *

Organizations in general have found that 1-2 percent of code will be affected and will have to be modified, but all of the code must be analyzed to make this determination. Estimates translate into one staff-year per 100,000 lines of code! Some organizations, such as banks, may have as many as 10 million lines of code with a higher affected rate than organizations that use information technology to keep accounts, mailing lists, personnel records, etc. This translates into 100 staff-years of effort.


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