Re: Checking the checkers through inaccurate information

Subject: Re: Checking the checkers through inaccurate information
From: Steven Jong <SteveJong -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 12:04:43 -0500

Carl Millholland <millholland -at- ACRONET -dot- NET> asks about deliberately
introducing errors (as jokes) into his drafts as a means of "checking the
checkers."

I have done the same thing, though more for my own enjoyment than to check
the reviewers. Once, for a laptop, pen-based software product, I described
the task of filling in a form onscreen using the pen, adding, "Bear down; you
are making three copies." The QA engineer came by later with a confused look
on his face. "This is a joke, right?" he asked. (Two points for him!)

In dealing with human beings you must take human nature into account; by that
logic, adding jokes (call them "Easter eggs" if you will) is a good idea. I
wouldn't consider it unethical or underhanded. (I wouldn't, would I?)

The downside is that, as Carl pointed out, you must have a good working
relationship with your reviewers. (What if I'd told that QA engineer that it
wasn't a joke?) Second, if you forget to remove the joke, heaven help you!
You might want to make an explicit note to yourself to remove it, lest a joke
slip through to become an embarassment.

-- Steve

=============================================================
Steven Jong, Documentation Group Leader ("Typo? What tpyo?")
Lightbridge, Inc, 281 Winter St., Waltham, MA 02154 USA
<jong -at- lightbridge -dot- com>, 617.672.4902 [voice], 617.890.2681 [FAX]

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