Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 3 Number 3 1986 pp. 101-110

The Role of Programming Language in Estimating Software Development Costs

Harrison, Warren and Adrangi, Bahram

ABSTRACT: It is commonly thought that the choice of programming language has an effect on the amount of effort involved in writing a program to solve a particular problem. However, relatively little work has been done previously in attempting to quantify this specific effect. This study analyzed 279 Department of Defense software projects which used assembly language, COBOL, FORTRAN, or PL/1. Our findings suggest that any of the high-level languages reduces the amount of effort required to develop a given-sized project when compared to assembly language.

Key words and phrases: software cost estimation, programming language as software cost driver