RE: Contractors: Local jobs, out of town recruiters?

Subject: RE: Contractors: Local jobs, out of town recruiters?
From: mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com
To: richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 13:48:44 -0500

Combs, Richard [mailto:richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com] asserted:
> Kevin wrote:
> > a) planned and allowed enough time in their schedule that
> > real working hardware and software would exist before
> > a reasonable documentation schedule began and
> Is this supposed to be desirable? Or rational? IMHO, if a
> company waits
> until it has "real working hardware and software" before even
> _starting_
> a "reasonable documentation schedule," it won't be in
> business very long
> because either its time-to-market or its documentation will suck. More
> than likely, both.
> Given such a sorry lack of ability to plan, coordinate, and manage
> multiple tasks in parallel, probably the product will suck, too.

Well, it certainly _sounded_ authoritative, but I'm not
actually sure what you are saying here.

Are you saying that there are no companies (that aren't
on their way out of business) that schedule the real
discovery and writing for when the prototype hardware
and the early release-candidate software start to
arrive? Physical stuff you can get your mitts on?

Wow. I had this dream...

I dunno about you, but the documents that I get from
engineering (some of which are co-written or at least
edited by me) don't get into the niceties of the
actual interface, as it will exist. Or, for revisions
of existing product, there's nothing that specifies
what the new commands will look like, what the additions
or changes to old commands will look like, etc.

What we get are requirements that the system should
have this or that capability or enhancement, and that
this or that bug/complaint/issue is really important
and must be addressed.

Then the developers have a meeting or two and start
coding. They try stuff out among themselves, to see
if they're breaking anything obvious or stepping on
each others' toes. Then a release candidate magically
appears. I might have had some preliminary framework
done - mostly stolen from my own work on previous
related products, but the documentation only really
starts to flesh out as the testers and I get a whack
at the early product. For something fairly new, I get
several weeks. For updates and new releases of existing
product, I get days.

Later, when the whole lump goes to QA I get a few more
days to fix things that QA finds wrong with my docs,
or to document things that QA finds wrong-but-not-
deal-breaking with the product.

I've left out the normal stuff about other concurrent
and interleaved schedules slipping and knocking each
other off track and all the negotiation and shoe-horning
and rationalizing (in both senses...) that goes on.

The upshot is that most of my real work occurs after
a usable product is in my hands.

Your world differs?


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