Time Tracking and Estimation Software for Herding Cats
June 13, 2009 1:20 PM   Subscribe

New Boss. I'm a programmer. The Boss doesn't like programmers, principally because of time related issues. So, I'm looking for project time software that will quantify the work done towards accomplishing goals in units of hours.

Some additional details: I'm thinking for this to be successful, I'd need it to email once a week the status of projects and how many hours are left and how many hours have been spent (because any time spent on this would be 'wasted time'). I'd like it to not take a lot of my time, of course. I'd be willing to justify spending money for a solution. And the biggie, and why I'm doing this: When you're in the middle of trying to figure out why the scope of a variable changes and your internal iterators in the XML class are reset (or whatever), being asked how many more hours, exactly, are left to do this is the last question one wishes to answer. So it should adjust the hours to account for that ever present flux.

It's R+D, not creating 1,000 similar widgets. Help me look like I'm making widgets.

And, ya, I know, not the ideal situation for a job. Google + Goldman Sachs don't wanna hire me right now, and it's a very interesting application. With Equity + base that allows me to buy food and stuff. So I wanna solve this problem before it becomes a bigger problem.
posted by sleslie to Work & Money (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm note sure this does everything you need, but it's an excellent online application for tracking time on projects: Keeptempo

The free account only lets you set up 1 project, but you can use different tags. I use it for tracking how much time I spend on different tasks at the office and once a week create a report and hack the data into our SAP system.
posted by starzero at 1:43 PM on June 13, 2009

One Mac option I use is "On the Job"

Or you could use RescueTime
posted by chrisalbon at 1:50 PM on June 13, 2009

Do you guys use a bug tracker? (I hope). A lot of bug trackers have built-in support for this, and if it integrates with your SCM you can save even more admin overhead. FogBugz, for example, will let you generate reports like this and also automatically update estimates of remaining time till shipping. Who is the lead on the project? They should be generating a report like this on a weekly basis anyway, so maybe that will obviate the need to generate updated remaining time estimates.
posted by jeb at 2:00 PM on June 13, 2009

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