Re: Advice for a novice, please

Subject: Re: Advice for a novice, please
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 21:44:14 -0700 (PDT)

Hey Willow,

A) Good job. Taking the initiative to change something is never an easy task.
Most people would sit around and wait for an edict from some authority figure
to tackle such repairs. Don't ever be afraid to make things better.

B) Don't let the SMEs get to you. Engineers and programmers treat tech writers
like crap when they think you don't know anything and you're no threat to them
professionally. Bide your time and learn what it is they do (at least to some
expertise). Then some glorious day, when and SME says something incorrect or
stupid to you, gently say "Really? I always thought it was <correct answer>."
They'll think you're a flippin' genius and they'll never treat you like crap
again.

C) Resist the urge to see this incident as some fundamental flaw in your
organization. People on TECHWR-L love to take small nuggets of badness and
explode them into corporate atrocities. I'll even admit to doing it myself.
Errors and omissions are a natural part of all complex tasks. Fixing them is
part of the job.

D) There is no such thing as "final". If I had a dime for every time somebody
told me this was the "final" build of some product when was nowhere near
"final"... I'd be bossing Bill Gates around. All things are in a perpetual
state of flux. The more complex something is, the more it will change over
time. Never assume that you have seen the last of something. Software is much
like evolution, species arise, rule, get fat, and are killed off by a meteor
(aka "reorg"). All species have their flaws and without corrective action the
flaw accentuates over time and...well, I am babbling...

E) Eat more fiber. Its not just a good idea, its the law!

Andrew Plato

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