Check the checker

Subject: Check the checker
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 16:55:01 -0400

I really don't see that this has a solution, but gonna vent anyway.

I'm receiving content from 4 developers. I use their content, along with my
knowledge, to write mine.

The content they are supplying is a form of about 3 pages that they fill out
when they create an API. They are not only using it for me, but for other
developers who take the information from the form and create other code.

The problem I'm having is that when they fill out the form, they introduce
errors, mostly careless. However, based part on pattern-matching, part
understanding, and part knowing what form the data should be, I'm catching
multiple errors per form. Stupid errors, such as three very similar APIs get
three forms, so they copy one form as the other, make changes, and forget to
change a server machine name.

Other errors such as saying that a process loops 5 times, incrementing a
counter with values 0 to 5 each time it runs (in case you are counting, 0 to
5 is 6 increments, not 5).

I spoke to my manager, who is also their manager, telling him that because
of this error checking, what should take 30 minutes per form, is taking
almost an hour and when you get 10 to 15 per day, that difference means
alot. He sympathizes and tells them almost every day to watch the stupid

However, with them happening, have you ever been in a similar situation and
how did you address it?

BTW...the quote, in the sig below, is mine and you know what caused it.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
"Be accurate...the 4am wakeup call you prevent could be your manager's"

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