Accurately estimating programming time is, in part, a process of defining limitations—experience, domain knowledge, speed vs. quality. It is also about thinking of future needs and constant efforts to have code that is maintainable. And it is highly dependent upon the culture of the team/organization.
Collective wisdom of the team prevails in defining the requirements of the software and the team becomes capable of answering how much time certain things will take in development. Very aggressive estimates can force engineers to cut corners. If you think the quality of the software produced needs to be more robust or if you think the software will not be able to meet short term business needs, it is time to work on inherent assumptions the team is making, analyze the processes by which the team is producing software and rectify them.
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