A trap software engineers usually fall into is underestimating how long some things will take and I’m no different. Yet lately I’ve somehow been on the other end. Nearly every task I’ve had to do the past few weeks - either technical, managerial, or personal - has ended up taking a shorter amount of time than I expected. The blocker has been getting into the mindset and finding the time to do it but once I start I crank it out.
An example is updating my fantasy football stats scraper for the upcoming season and writing the corresponding blog post. I figured there would be unknowns and a fair estimate was a few hours. Turns out that once I started doing the work it probably took about 5 minutes to get the environment set up on a new computer, another 10 minutes to fix the code for Yahoo’s annual changes, and another 15 minutes to write the blog post.
Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten more conservative with my estimates over the years, maybe it’s because I’m more proficient than I used to be, or maybe this is all a fluke and I’ll revert to the mean soon enough. In any case I should take advantage of this era of productivity.