RE: Being an Expert

Subject: RE: Being an Expert
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 09:40:19 -0400


I agree with you Tom, partially.

One of the things that we need to bring to the table is the ability to see
something, not know why we think it is wrong, but know just enough to know
that something just isn't right. Instinct, which you only gain through
accumulation of knowledge.

It could be a conflicting rule or a feeling that if something is specified
in a formula, the results are going the wrong way. In this kind of case, it
isn't as important that we know how to write the formula, but enough about
the subject that the formula is being applied against so that if the results
are X, they should be 100X. For this, you need to know about the subject in
which the formula is being applied.

Case in point. I'm writing some business rules for manipulating data and
system messages. I know very little about the system..though much more since
Monday last week. However, yesterday, I asked why, based on a pattern of
matches, in all cases except one, a string of numbers was 01, 09, 12, 20,
and 90-99, but in one case, it was coded 00 instead of 01.

Turns out that this tiny little error was responsible for a VERY large
series of error messages that nobody could understand. To me, it was almost
trivial...to them, a biggee....apparently, I justified my rate for the rest
of the year.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
212-414-6656



-----Original Message-----
From: tom -dot- green -at- iwon -dot- com [mailto:tom -dot- green -at- iwon -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 9:09 AM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: Being an Expert (was:I'm taking my marbles and going
home...)




I agree with you Jan, partially.
...

There is a point however, where I am not required to know specific things
like equations or formulas. That is the engineer's job and I will never get
into a debate over content that is someone elses job to know. If so, then I
should be getting engineer's pay.


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