RE: So this is why...!

Subject: RE: So this is why...!
From: Roy Jacobsen <rjacobse -at- GreatPlains -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 11:26:05 -0600

I think you're overstating Andrew's position here (although he *does* tend
to wax a bit polemical in attacking process/tool advocates and promoting a
"just wade in there and write it" approach.)

Why does this keep turning into an "either/or" discussion? Isn't it obvious
that success depends on good writers using good tools and processes? What is
so hard about this people?

Roy M. Jacobsen
Senior Editor
Great Plains
1701 38th Street Southwest
Fargo, ND 58103

"Getting back down counts too." -- Sir Edmund Hillary (on climbing Mt.

>Of course, Andrew Plato would argue that this problem, like the problem
>with writers, is that the software engineers aren't using their brains
>But everyone who has seriously addressed the problem of poor
>software quality would agree that improved processes are the answer,
>not more jolt-cola-swgging cowboy programmers who claim they could
>fix all the bugs if everyone would just leave them alone, and stop
>making them follow procedures.
>Does that sound familiar? Andrew argues that if you eliminate
>processes, don't impose structure, forget about content
>management, forget about configuration control, and make writers
>use MS Word, the result will be better documentation at a lower
>cost. I contend that Andrew's approach produces the writing equivalent
>of spaghetti code, which results in the same downstream catastrophe
>(huge overhead, increased tech support costs) produced
>by his cowboy equivalents in the software engineering profession.

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