RE: document your job?

Subject: RE: document your job?
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riveraintech -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 18:09:40 -0400

Sorry I wasn't clear enough. I do *not* document this stuff for my own
benefit - I document it for present and future colleagues. If I happen
to need the information later on, that's just a happy side effect.

Either way, it's part of my own (subjective) professional ethics. Doing
otherwise probably won't lead to eternal darnation by Prince Phil.

-----Original Message-----
From: Porrello, Leonard
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 5:18 PM
To: Dan Goldstein; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: document your job?

Documenting what you do for your own benefit is not a bad idea. From an
ethical perspective, however, it is not as black and white as Dan
suggests. It clearly becomes a question of professional ethics only when
Kevin is tasked with documenting what he does. Otherwise, you need to
weigh the opportunity cost of documenting the job (against using that
time to write and improve documentation).

It is also not a question of doing it out of gratitude for 20+ years of
employment. Unless Kevin's employer has kept him on for charitable
reasons, it is safe to assume that the relationship has been mutually

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Goldstein
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 1:57 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: document your job?

I consider it part of my professional ethics to leave clear
documentation for those who will follow. Most of us have picked up a
project where someone unnecessarily left us a mystery... or a mess.

To be clear, I'm not just talking about predecessors and successors. Ten
years from now, the poor schmuck who has to figure out what I was doing
this week might well be me.

Happy Wednesday!

- Dan Goldstein

P.S.: I try to avoid the "hit-by-a-truck" scenario. Instead, I always
say to my colleagues whose work I document: "If you were to win the
lottery tomorrow and move to Hawaii, what would the rest of us need to

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document your job?: From: Editor in Chief
RE: document your job?: From: Dan Goldstein
RE: document your job?: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: document your job?: From: Dan Goldstein
RE: document your job?: From: Porrello, Leonard

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