Re: The user guide prescribes the program

Subject: Re: The user guide prescribes the program
From: John Engler <spillman!jengler -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 14:24:23 -0700

I used to work for team leader who really pushed for this kind of
approach. Her vision was to document the software before the code was
even written. I think it's a great idea. But it takes a lot of work to
change the mind-set of those who are used to the old way.

We began by offering our user-oriented views in development meetings and
by getting involved in testing prototypes of the software. But I can see
that unless the UI specialists are affiliated more with documenters than
with programmers, the programmers are going to keep the ball in their
court. And unless you're really patient to work with programmers until
the momentum swings your way, upper-management had got to buy into the
idea, too. It's really a whole new mind-set, one of shifting primary
responsibility to the documenters. That's hard for programmers to
swallow.

I'd love to see some documentation on this topic, if there is any.
Could it be that documenters could be seen as an asset instead of a
near-liability?

John Engler
jengler -at- spillman -dot- com
Spillman Data Systems, Inc.
Logan, UT

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