I started writing the Census Crunch in order to market myself: I wanted to pretend that I take such applications for breakfast.
However, as so often happens in software development, I went through lunch and dinner and breakfast again. So far it has taken more than 15 hours over two weeks. It is still taking me time. I’m fixing issues, I’m offering support, and I add functionality. It has become a case study. To me it’s a toy that helps reveal the true cost of software development. It illustrates how something simple inevitably becomes larger and how easy it is to break the budget. This is why I generally recommend to people to avoid custom software development and prefer off-the-shelf software.
In the next few days I am going to write more on this. We will explore exactly why the Census Crunch took so long.