RE: What do people work from?

Subject: RE: What do people work from?
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 16:30:59 -0700

I work from the product and from interviews with SMEs and users. I have,
from time to time, had design documents available to me, but I don't
always count on them. In my current job, I have no design documents at

Design documents go out of date quickly. The engineers often update them
*after* they've updated the SW.

SMEs are the best. Often I help *them* resolve consistency issues at the
same time they are helping *me* understand the inner working. I have a
background as a SW engineer, which helps.

Note that the SME is not always the engineer developing the code. In a
previous job, I was documenting our implementing of JavaServer Faces. I
had read a lot about JSF and done some coding in it by hand. By the time
I was working on the documentation, I knew as much as the engineers
about the standards! But that's unusual.

In my current position, I find that the engineers designing the software
often don't understand the customer situation that the software is
supposed to resolve. I work with the customers and the engineers to
ensure that we're solving the problem correctly, *and* that we're
solving the right set of problems.


Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-216553 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-216553 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
Partridge, Robert
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2005 4:12 PM
Subject: What do people work from?


A bit of background first. The writers here used to get fairly complete
functional specifications and detailed design specifications from which
to work. These by no means provided all the information required to
write about the product, but at least described all the functions of the
product, what it did, how and why it did it. Nowadays these
specifications are either non-existent or so lacking in information as
to be nearly useless.


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