How long does it take?

I was given this project as a part of an interviewing process. Ok, I’m
not asking how to implement it but how long it takes.

How long does it take to implement the following application?

Implement an online_store with 2 types of users:

  1. Customer: logs in and sees a page with products, each includes name
    and price. They select any number of those products and add them to the
    shopping cart. They go to their shopping cart and are able to check out
    unless there is 0 items in the cart. No credit card processing required,
    but the order should be saved. After that, they go back to the product
    page, now it contains a link to their order status. After they click on
    this link, they see a summary of their orders.

  2. Admin: logs in and sees a link to the store statistics. After they
    click on this link, they see a table of all the products sold, including
    total counts and total money. They are able to sort the statistics chart
    by any of the columns.

The project already has basic user authentication and the
registration/login pages, but nothing else. But it requires testing for
the authentication as well.

It should include testing (Cucumber/rspec/unit test), validation if
needed and efficient queries. It doesn’t require fancy web design but
the interface should be clean and usable.

I have my own estimate and how long they give to me, but would be
curious what other people think of it.

Mike S. wrote in post #1051939:

I was given this project as a part of an interviewing process. Ok, I’m
not asking how to implement it but how long it takes.

How long does it take to implement the following application?

If I was presented with this question in an interview I’d think
seriously about how much I really needed this particular job. If their
first question is, “How long with this take?” I’d take this a bad omen
indicating some very frustrating times to come.

It’s like asking an artist how long a masterpiece takes to paint, or an
author how long story development takes when writing a best selling
novel. It takes as long as it takes to get it right.

Haha, nice response…

But on a serious note, isn’t this very subjective… like… depends on
who’s doing the work… How proficient, efficient, etc in the design
skills necessary for the particular job…

Anyway I would think it would take you a month if you haven’t done
anything like it before and you can devote some serious time… If you
are quite knowledgeable, I would say a couple days.

Cheers,
Abram

On Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM, Mike S. [email protected]
wrote:

The whole premise, they had an old assignment taking a day, and said
“it’s too long, we want something shorter” and designed this one, saying
it would take only 3 hours.

The thing is, I think you could do this in 3 hours. Not sure what
they’re trying to get at in the interview process. But given some RoR
scaffolding magic, the right gems and some JQuery plugins for the
Admin tables, I think you could do this all with very little coding.

Maybe they’re trying to see if the candidate has enough experience to
be able to pick those pieces that make this easy?

Not saying the job screening technique isn’t rubbish, just speculating
on the fact that RoR and JQuery plugins have made some of this
standard web dev really easy.


Greg A.
http://twitter.com/akinsgre

Great replies!

Well, the question wasn’t to give the time assessment, they were asking
to completely implement it within 3 hours, by clock (but I canceled it
for that day). I’m not continuing with them, this is insane. I have good
experience in RoR, but the job doesn’t even put RoR experience as a
requirement.

The whole premise, they had an old assignment taking a day, and said
“it’s too long, we want something shorter” and designed this one, saying
it would take only 3 hours.

I ran this great tool
http://www.eyefodder.com/how-long-will-your-project-take-software-estimation-app
for the estimates. Optimistically, this app takes 9-14 hours with a bare
minimum (just typing) of 5 hours. The old assignment takes only 6+
hours.

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