Taking notes, once more with feeling

Subject: Taking notes, once more with feeling
From: Betsy Perry <betsyp -at- VNET -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1996 10:38:07 -0400

I think the answer we're all converging on is "It depends."

Whether a request is a professional opportunity or an insult depends
on the person who is asking, the way in which the request is made,
and, most important of all, the person who is being asked.

I like software design and analysis; I find them interesting, and I
can contribute to an OOAD team. Therefore, when the head of a large
project's architecture team asked me, very apologetically, if I'd be
insulted if he asked me to take the team's minutes, I replied that, on
the contrary, I'd be delighted.

I spent the next four months as a member of the team. I attended
meetings, tried to act as a facilitator ("Eric, I hear Fred saying
that the cache is a performance bottleneck. Fred, am I right?"),
prepared brief outlines of the topics covered, and began work on a
comprehensive system architecture document. The experience I gained
while taking those minutes helped me get my next writing job; several
of the team members became my professional references.

For me, taking minutes was a career blessing. For somebody with no
interest in software development, taking minutes would have been a
bore and a burden. Your career strategy will determine your best

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