The ruins of Rome testify to the engineering capabilities of those who built it'including, one presumes, their cost estimating skills. Many software projects have been cancelled, delivered unsatisfactory results or gone over budget because of problems in estimating costs and complexity.

Advocates of software metrics and measurement seek to determine and control software project costs by using applied statistical methods.

The Air Force's Software Technology Support Center has promoted the use of metrics and measurement within the Defense Department systems communities using various types of metrics and training courses, including its Practical Software Measurement course and its measurement capability evaluation team. To check STSC's software metrics resources, go to

Perhaps more software-buying agencies will seek the assistance of a relatively new breed of trained specialists, such as certified software quality analysts, certified software testing engineers or certified information systems auditors.

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