RE: Dumb as a fox; was BS-ing your way...

Subject: RE: Dumb as a fox; was BS-ing your way...
From: "Dan Glovier" <dglovier -at- edline -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 09:04:46 -0600

> Night before last, I was at the office at 8pm and there was a
> running load tests on a new release and bored out of his mind, so I
> approached him with the question "Jon, what is a Method Call and what
do I
> need to know to make my documentation more useful for what you-guys
> We
> talked for about 30 minutes and he was very helpful....and now, my
> documentation has more information, my computer has Visual Basic 6
> and he's asking ME some questions.
> Did I achieve my goal by appearing dumb?

Nope, you sure didn't. However, your scenario did share one thing with
the original posting (I just cleared out my Deleted folder ... gah!!!)
on this subject. When the SME talked geek speak, which in your case was
the term Method Call, you stopped him and asked him to explain.

Appearing dumb is never good, unless you're a comedic actor or you're in
the mob and you don't want to rat on the family.

However, asking the correct questions is. This can take the form of
multi-layered questions on the logic, flow, and ramifications of a new
tweak to the software (John's "smart" questions) to asking the
developers what the heck those three acronyms they just used in two
sentences mean (the original, so-called, "dumb" questions).

I took the meaning of "acting dumb" to signify that you should ask even
the most basic questions of developers to ensure that there is no
misunderstanding. And this is good advice. I have seen writers
(especially young, including me years ago) not ask these types of
questions because they either thought they "kinda got it, so why ask?"
or didn't want to look "dumb" in front of the SME.

Dan Glovier

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Dumb as a fox; was BS-ing your way...: From: John Posada

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