First of all I'm not 100% sure if this question is really meant for SO (sort of subjective) so feel free to remove it if necessary. Thanks in advance for answering, though.
For the sake of introductions, I belong to a startup software company -- 3 developers, less than 15 employees including the CEO. We deal exclusively with Windows Mobile, the .NET CF, and passing the information gathered from our handheld application to and from our website. My director and I just had a meeting over an urgent project that hasn't begun yet, but it should probably get on a roll soon if we are to meet delivery deadlines for a prospective but very powerful and influential client.
He proceeded to explain the project to me as follows:
- The new project will consist primarily of a .NET CF app that allows the client to conduct multiple soil samples over the course of a single session.
- The area being sampled by the user should be shown on a map of appropriate size and scale.
- The map should be dynamically split into grid squares of a size set by the user (in acres).
- On each grid square, the user will have the ability to take notes and mark individual points via real-time GPS from the on-board receiver.
- In addition, functionality should exist to help point the user to any grid square given their current position.
- All information collected should be easily retrieved and read in a very user-friendly manner on the customer's handheld device -- a device which we provide -- at any time.
- All information collected should be easily sent -- through ActiveSync, wirelessly, or what-have-you -- to our website where it should be viewable/editable in an interface similar to that of the handheld device.
With that description in mind I thought things over (albeit rather quickly). With our current staff size, limited budget, and limited resources, I projected that such an endeavor would take roughly 9 to 18 months. Forgive me if I'm off in left field... I'm a recent CS grad and pretty new to the "real" world; however, the project is currently only realized in my director's head, with no design documentation or specs. My question here is, how far off am I, really? Once again, my director -- who has no background in software or IT whatsoever, but is a subject matter expert insofar as soil sampling goes -- put the project at about a 3-month duration.
Keep in mind that we're currently using an unsupported SDK for the rest of our GPS and GIS needs, and ESRI products are almost too far out of range for us. Current functionality in our other apps goes give us a leg up, with the ability already in place for us to draw areas, polylines, and plot points on a map.
I'm just kind of confused/afraid here, wondering if I'm completely wrong or if I'm right but just without confidence. Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks!