RE: When Worlds Collide: McConnell meets Hackos

Subject: RE: When Worlds Collide: McConnell meets Hackos
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 13:50:43 -0400


My experience is that if I were to write the bulk of my book early in the
development cycle, my book would not pertain to the released product <vbg>.
For example, what's a SW prototype? Is that like that alpha test thing I've
heard about ;?P

I have found it is most efficient for me to begin writing shortly before
beta testing begins. That is not to say the book, templates, styles, and so
forth are not in place beforehand. Indeed, the structure is there before I
begin writing. Headers, footers, etc.

I understand there are processes. I enjoyed the Hackos book and didn't read
the other. I'd love to work for these guys <g>. My processes are structured
and my planning does consider what developers and others are doing, from the
get-go. However, my experience is that smaller companies, the kind of
company I have traditionally worked for, are lax about development processes
to the point where I would never begin writing very early on. However, that
does not mean I do not try to implement efficient approaches to getting
things done early, for example, if a portion or component of the software is
ready before the bulk, perhaps it was snagged from another application, I
certainly would write about the completed piece rather than leave it until
the whole is done.

I recommend you read the good books, learn from them, and apply that
knowledge to your situation. I don't know what your situation is. If you can
fully implement what either of these books teaches, I envy the order that
surrounds you!

Hope my comments entertain you all <vbg>.

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: dan roberts [SMTP:droberts63 -at- earthlink -dot- net]
> I'm wondering if anyone has written doc under the SW development process
> outlined by Steve McConnell in The Software Project Survival Guide, and if
> so, how that process either coincided or conflicted with the documentation
> process outlined by Joann Hackos, in Managing Your Documentation Project.
> McConnell advises that, although doc development extends through the
> development life-cycle, the bulk of user doc can be completed in the early
> stages of the SW development cycle, pretty much after the SW prototype is
> completed. T

> Hackos contends that the initial phases of doc development should be
> devoted to analysis and planning, including a detailed doc plan--but
> little in the way of writing information that the end-user will ultimately
> see.

> I'm curious to hear comments.
> (yes, Andrew, I know, "shut up and write" <g>)
<g> Andrew has a point.

> Dan Roberts
Best regards from chaosland,

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

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