Re: How do you find time? (WAS: Learning to code on the cheap)

Subject: Re: How do you find time? (WAS: Learning to code on the cheap)
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 09:58:13 -0400

amdohlman -at- uwalumni -dot- com wrote:

>Increasing my technical knowledge during
>slow periods at work would really be ideal - here's where I'm focused and
>here's where I've got the fast connection and all the software I need -
>but I'm concerned my boss might view it negatively. Do you clear it with
>your boss first? Does it even matter?


Let me address just this part of your post and leave the rest to others.

Generalizations about managers and management methods are dangerous. In particular, the kind of therblig-focused micromanagement of subordinates' time that _might_ be appropriate on an assembly line or a construction site is usually counterproductive in an engineering or R&D environment.

We're all accustomed to thinking of a manager as "the boss," who is going to fire us if he finds us "wasting company time." This makes sense if you have to sew a certain number of collars an hour or cover a certain number of square feet of roof an hour. It does not make sense if your work is measured on the quality and timeliness of your creative deliverables, though.

So in a product company that has both a development side and a manufacturing side, it is often the case that employees are evaluated differently depending on the side they belong to. Ideally, your manager should want you to gain skills in order to be more effective and efficient on your next assignment and should not be concerned with how you spend _any_ of your time, at work or at home, as long as you produce the assigned deliverables by the assigned due date.

However, individual managers, being fallible humans, may not understand that principle. And individual companies may not have adopted policies that encourage managers to afford you that kind of freedom. So I am in no way advising you on the best way to approach _your_ boss at _your_ company. I am just trying to persuade you that you should not feel defensive about what you want to do. The basic contract (at least in your mind, and also in your manager's if he is amenable to this line of reasoning) is about _what_ you deliver and _when,_ not _how_ you produce it. Your time, under this model, is always yours to do with as you please. In enlightened organizations, this principle works pretty effectively, at least most of the time. It may or may not apply in your situation.



sourcing tool for FrameMaker that lets you easily publish your content
online. No macro language required!

Mercer University's online MS Program in Technical Communication Management:
Preparing leaders of tomorrow's technical communication organizations today.
See or write George Hayhoe at hayhoe_g -at- mercer -dot- edu -dot-

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: This file is protected...
Next by Author: Work-for-hire question
Previous by Thread: How do you find time? (WAS: Learning to code on the cheap)
Next by Thread: Re: How do you find time? (WAS: Learning to code on the cheap)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads