Re: conducting interviews

Subject: Re: conducting interviews
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 09:40:51 -0700 (PDT)

I'd say it was time to learn about programming. There are no shortcuts here. If
you need to document what people are doing, you must *personally comprehend at
a detailed technical level* what they are doing.

You cannot document intelligently from ignorance.

I'd pickup a book on programming in whatever environment/language your people
use and start reading. I'd also find somebody (QA people are good for this) to
walk you through exactly what, why, and how the product/application(s) works.
You should use the product as well and check out the competitors.

Don't interview programmers until you know what you're documenting. You'll
just come off as unprepared and irritating.

Andrew Plato

----- Original Message -----

>my task at the moment is to create a "work summary" of a just finished
> project (there is virtually no documentation on this project up to this
> point). i will be conducting interviews to discover who did what and why
> they did it. the content of some of the interviews may very well be a little
> over my head (i am going to have to interview some programmers; i don't know
> very much about programming).
>
> my question is: do any of you have any advice on conducting interviews with
> people/departments that do things you know nothing (or vitrually nothing)
> about?
>
> i am hoping to get to interview the project manager before anyone else; this
> should allow me to have a grasp of the overall project and strategies.
> hopefully this give me an understanding for the programmers and their
> objectives, but i still am incredibly nervous (anxious, stressed,
> intimidated, exhilerated) about having to ask them questions.....

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