Re: Stupendously learned user

Subject: Re: Stupendously learned user
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 12:56:31 +0800

In my experience this is a fairly common mistake. Often a programmer
will have a narrow view of the range of users and in fact will latch on
to a single user type.

For example, in many cases users of UNIX system administration software
will be experienced UNIX users and experienced system administrators,
but you can't assume that's always true.
- They may have run the basic admin procedures on a single UNIX box but
not be as familiar with the detailed operations of a data centre.
- They may have 25 years experience as a sysadmin on mainframe systems,
and now they've been told to manage some UNIX systems their company has
acquired in a merger.
- They may be competent operators who are taking on extra
responsibilities while the sysadmin is away.
- They may be specialists such as DBAs, security admins and auditors who
need to implement their own procedures within a general sysadmin framework.

As the TW you can't be expected to teach the full UNIX for Dummies and
System Admin for Dummies, but you do need to handle these different user
types appropriately.

Final point: although engineers can be wrong that the readers "are very
knowledgeable and know all this", *sometimes they're absolutely right*.
You have to be able to detect these cases and back off gracefully,
otherwise you'll use up whatever credit you have with that engineer.


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> "Web services engineers are very knowledgeable, they're not beginners.
> The reader of this document won't have any trouble with this!"

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