RE: Take this engineer and shove it

Subject: RE: Take this engineer and shove it
From: "Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM>
To: "'Bruce Byfield'" <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 12:49:57 -0400


I've never yet worked with a developer who wasn't primarily motivated by
money-knowing they can get big and bigger bucks almost anywhere. Many are
also motivated by pride of craftsmanship, but don't discount the money
factor. That may be because with the kind of software I work on, SME's are
business analysts and product managers, not developers.

I work with some really wonderful developers who produce really fine work.
My primary gripe is that I'm at least as good at what I do as they are at
what they do. I have yet to miss a deadline (in seven years), and the
clients respond extremely well to my help systems, manuals and training
materials. Most developers on my team come to me when they're not sure how
the UI should look or when they're having trouble figuring out a product
spec. So while the developers respect my work, management types simply don't
value tech Comm as much as development. The attitude gets passed to some of
the more ambitious developers, and the cycle starts over again. I don't get
the paycheck they do, but even more important, I don't get the recognition
by management-and that is seriously sucky. Because if I fail, the product
fails, no matter how bug-free, how fast, how artful it may be.

As for me, it ain't the engineers I want to shove ;)


Connie Giordano

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Byfield [mailto:bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, May 26, 2000 12:41 PM
Subject: Take this engineer and shove it

The most important thing to understand is that most SMEs -
especially coders - think of themselves as artists, or at least
skilled at their craft. They like to have their skill
appreciated, and they tend to see their work as its own reward;
beyond a certain point, money doesn't mean that much to them
compared to job satisfaction. They're inwardly motivated people.
Once you understand what motivates them, you're two-thirds of the
way to getting along with them.

Just as importantly, if you can get them to understand that
you're motivated the same way (and I think that many, if not most
tech-writers are), then they will be far more likely to give you
the respect that you crave.


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