I'm nearly complete with an internship and am expected to do a presentation demonstrating the value I have provided for the company. I am a software developer and have helped to write a new data service that will be extremely valuable long term to the organization, and is a high priority for future growth. I've completed this task with a team, but it's fair to say I have done a non-trivial amount of work.

My question is, how do I estimate the value of what I've accomplished? I don't want to just make up arbitrary numbers? Has anyone used a methodology of estimating value in such a way that it is clear to management the benefit, while still being accurate and honest?

Further how do I translate that to real dollars?


2 Answers 2


This is very subjective, so I'm going to make a couple of grand generalizations, here.

The value of software development can USUALLY be broken down into two general areas:

1) Reducing expense. Does your software (or contributions to existing software) automate or accelerate a business process, or cause it to be done with fewer resources (man-hours, materials, computer hardware requirements)? Then you should be able to take an estimated employee or resource cost and determine what your rate of return is. Do you save a clerk 10 hours per week of data entry? Well, that's 25% of a headcount (actually a little more, but again, generalizing), so if that clerk makes $40K per year, your software saves $10K per year. (You also get error rate improvement, but again, generalizing ...)

2) Increasing revenue. Does your software generate revenue, or allow your company to pursue new revenue streams? You can count a percentage of that towards your contribution, as well (take off allowances for sales, overhead, labor, etc.)

Again, these are VERY general approaches, but probably well within what you should be expected to provide. Put what you can together, and ask your internship supervisor to review it with you.


While I like @Wesley Long's answer, it doesn't really discuss your contribution rather than what the software you produced with your team provides.

You should absolutely give information on the impact of the software for the business as an introduction, but you need to quantify where possible your direct contribution to that software, and how you performed personally.

Things to mention include:

  • Which modules you developed and their criticality to the application;
  • How you went against your estimated time frames; and
  • Number of bugs or issues that were found in your work.

The more qualitative things to mention are:

  • How you worked as part of the team;
  • Any tools or methodologies you helped introduce that improved team efficiencies; and
  • Any improvements to the design of your modules or other team member's work that made the system either more efficient or better able to accommodate the requirements.

Once you tie all these things together, you can start to give a picture of how valuable you are as an employee. With regard to numbers, they're not asking you to tell them actual cost (they already know this), but rather how you helped to make the project successful.

  • 1
    Ah, you took a very different read on the term "Value." I see what you were thinking. If that's the correct interpretation, then this is a really good answer. Jul 28, 2015 at 0:22
  • @WesleyLong Thanks! Just trying to look at it from the perspective of the employer, why would they ask the intern what the value of the application is? They would have done their cost-benefit analysis before they commissioned the project, so what I assume is that they're looking for how the OP contributed to it :)
    – Jane S
    Jul 28, 2015 at 0:26
  • 1
    @JaneS, it might not be the employer asking. Some universities require an internship and a presentation on it. That said, in that case your answer would still be more in line with the intent of the question.
    – Celos
    Jul 28, 2015 at 9:29
  • 1
    @JaneS - Not to worry. I think between the two of us we nailed this one down pretty well. Jul 28, 2015 at 15:23
  • 1
    Thanks again both of you for the great tips! This is the employer asking the question and not the University in this case. The definition of value from my employer has been very vague, they just want me to show my value so both of these answers provide clarity and some guidelines on how to show "value" to my employer. Thanks again!
    – MrRoboto
    Jul 29, 2015 at 14:35

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