Why is marketing the enemy to a programmer?

Subject: Why is marketing the enemy to a programmer?
From: Sella Rush <SellaR -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 16:41:22 -0800

In a private post, David Locke -at- sugar-land -dot- anadrill -dot- slb -dot- com commented
that marketing, from a programmer's perspective, is the enemy.

Now this is not really a revelation to me, but it finally sunk in that I
didn't really know why the attitude developed. I know a lot of tech
writers hate marketing divisions (and vice versa)--presumably because
they each have their own ideas about what should be communicated and
how.

As a lone tech writer working with a small team, I do lots of things,
including marketing. The entire team spends at least some amount of
time thinking about marketing, because we only have one product and it's
just about to be released. The programmers must know that the 3-year
effort will fail miserably if the marketing effort isn't successful. We
know we may all be looking for jobs in 6 months. So why the antagonism?

Is it the difference between a small company and a large one? Where two
separate divisions in a large company do not adequately communicate with
each other and are not structured to work as a team? What about other
small companies out there? Is there still friction?

One of our senior programmers doesn't like a marketing "tone" in any
writing. He likes everything very factual and no hype. He says
software developers (our potential customers) won't be swayed by clever
advertising or fluff (such as metaphors). At the time I really didn't
feel like explaining that what he percieved as "hype" was actually well
recognized effective communication techniques. Is this attitude
prevalent, and does it contribute to the antagonism?

I'm looking forward to hearing other perspectives, on the basis that
it's always good to know thy enemy. ;-)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Sella Rush
Applied Technical Systems, Inc. (ATS)
Bremerton, Washington USA
Developers of the CCM Database


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