Object-Oriented Development and Documentation

Subject: Object-Oriented Development and Documentation
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 1996 19:38:01 +0100

Hello Matthew,

* Antwort auf eine Nachricht von Matthew Danda an All am 02.07.96

MD> From: Matthew Danda <dandam -at- 1stnet -dot- net>

MD> After becoming totally immersed in object-oriented (O-O)
MD> development over
MD> the past 8 weeks, I am curious to hear from other writers who
MD> have been in similar situations.

replace O-O with software and we are in the same boat :-)

MD> I have been a "test-case" writer on a software development team
MD> that is
MD> currently defining the technical specifications

Could it be that the wording of these specifications get much clearer due to
your involvement?

Could it be that the user interface gets more user-friendly this way?

Could it be that the user interface gets more uniform?

Could it be that you carry information from one team to the other?

MD> It has been 8 weeks since the project began, and
MD> management is
MD> beginning to evaluate the value of my presence, the technical
MD> writer, on the team.

What do they expect? That the project is finished in half the time because you
are in it? What does an outsider see of *any* real software project after 8

MD> In essence, to
MD> successfully document the project, the technical communicator
MD> inadvertantly
MD> becomes a capable O-O analyst who assumes responsibility for
MD> much of the
MD> grunt work; maintaining and editing the massive amounts of
MD> technical documentation produced.

Who says that we can do nothing more than end user documentation?

MD> I would not recommend this responsibility to a generic
MD> technical writer,
MD> since it requires a great deal of systems analysis and design
MD> and comparitively little writing.

For me this is a great deal of fun!

MD> Although the writer does not need to become a
MD> programmer to participate in O-O design, a strong understanding
MD> of the methodology is needed

I think it would be an error if you would start as a normal member of a
programmer team. Your point of view would shurely shift from user-centric to
project-centric .

But you need an efficient way to communicate with the programmers.

MD> Has anyone out there had similar experiences? Do you agree or
MD> disagree with my conclusions?

About the same over here!

Greetings from Germany,

Alexander von Obert, Urbanstr. 2, 90480 Nuernberg, Germany
Free-lance Technical Writer (electronics, software)
Voice +49-911-403903, Fax +49-911-403904, BBS +49-911-403905 (FIDO 2:2490/1719)

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