"Oh, come on, I CouldDoThisMyself in a week." (an AlarmBellPhrase)How might we handle this one? Let's list a few things you might, or might not, say when this happens:
<silence>. (The first time you hear an objection, you should just ignore it.)
If that's an offer, I'll put your initials and estimate on the card and you can start tomorrow.
That would be great! Could you partner with Tom on it? Maybe you could help him go faster!
Neat! Could you work with me on it? I'm sure we'd both learn a lot!
That's interesting - a few of us were saying yesterday how we could do your job in one morning a week. Could you have this finished by next Tuesday?
Yes, but men were men back then.
Yes, but men were men back then. I think it was all those long walks to school through three feet of snow, six miles each way, uphill.
I'll bet you a week's pay that you can't.
Great! Let's swap tasks. I will do that task X of yours (estimated 1 week's effort) in return.
Sometimes it's true. I've known programmers spend weeks on something that took me an afternoon. Variation in programmer effectiveness can be enormous.
See also GuruDoesAll (which is basically the second riposte above), TruckNumber (which explains why it's a bad idea), and PairProgramming (a happier approach along the lines of the "partnering" ripostes). --DaveHarris
From http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/cs_programming.shtml (Which has all kinds of other good stuff in it, too)
One thing that many will run into in the computer industry, is employers who are rather clueless and yet don't necessarily realize this. In 1996, a friend told me about a boss he had that needed a C program written for him. After a week, the boss complained that the program wasn't done, and he asked my friend what was taking so long.
Friend: "The program is written, and I'm debugging it."
Boss: "What's wrong with you people? You make programming more difficult than it needs to be. I have Frontpage Express to write web pages with, and when I write code with it, I never need to debug it. If you were as good of a programmer as me, you'd never need to debug either."