RE: How we define ourselves

Subject: RE: How we define ourselves
From: "Huey Callison" <huey -dot- callison -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 16:56:58 -0500

mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com wrote:

Al Geist [mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com] couldn't resist:
> Huey Callison wrote:
> > The answer I give to people that aren't in IT is "I write
> > books nobody reads about software nobody uses."
> Aren't we really just "Weapons of Mass Instruction?"
Nope. You snipped the part (later in his post) about
writing documents that nobody reads. Instruction works
only when read, and even then, it's iffy.

Well, 'nobody' is relative. More realistically, software design specs
I write are read by somewhere between two and ten people. I've been
blessed with a group of programmers that only occasionally deviates
from "what I wrote" without asking me first in the rare instances that
"what I ~meant~ to write" is the more correct answer. The problems,
when they occur, begin during the review process when I give the spec
to the client and ask "Is this what you want?" and they say "Yeah,

I have since learned that "Yeah, sure" is Clientese for "actually, we
only kind of leafed through it, so there's a few score minor bugs and
at least two major functional deficiencies that you aren't gonna find
out about until beta-testing starts, and these will force a redesign
of substantial portions of the system."

If anybody has a solution for that particular sticky wicket, I'd love
to hear it. And "make 'em sign it in blood" has already been tried.


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