Software Cost Estimator

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“But how much will it cost?”

…is the most frequent question I'm asked regarding custom software development and I always give the same answer: “It depends!”

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Estimating the cost of a custom software program can be very complicated and entails asking a number of questions to narrow down the purpose, or what we call “scope”. Every software program has its own “scope” and it’s my job to narrow it down enough to give someone a sense of the effort to create what they have envisioned.

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Up until now, this “scoping” process could take up to 60 minutes of questions to produce a ballpark cost of a custom software program. This works well when I can ask direct questions, but not everyone has the years of experience that I do, so we developed another solution. I broke down the software scoping process into “chunks,” each with an associated cost to produce. What I found is the cost to create custom software is less about the effort of each piece, and more about the complexity of the project as a whole. Therefore, we developed the "Software Cost Estimator" tool as an easy way to establish a system’s complexity by asking a short series of questions.

Customers don’t need a technical background to answer these questions, just a basic understanding of what they need their system to do.

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Once we have an idea of the function of the piece of software, we start to delve into the complexity of the system. Is it going to replace existing software? Will it integrate with systems you already have? What kind of special equipment, like barcode scanners, will it use? All these factors help us to determine a rough estimate of how complex, and therefore how costly, a piece of software will be.

Our Estimator app allows you to get an idea of your software project’s price instantly. Try it out now!

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by Jody Jankovsky | December 09, 2015 |

Written by Jody Jankovsky

Jody Jankovsky

Jody is a Managing Member and Founder of Black Line. Jody started in the software world at the age of 12, helping his dad test software in their garage. He understands that business people are busy doing what they excel at, which leaves little time to keep up with IT trends, decide what technology is best for them, and manage the people to make sure they’re getting the most out of it. That’s why he started Black Line, to give business people peace of mind that their technology was in good hands.

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