Re[2]: Getting the programmers to come to you

Subject: Re[2]: Getting the programmers to come to you
From: Don Smith <dsmith -at- ACCESSBEYOND -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 14:24:46 EST

At 02:28 PM 3/12/97 -0400, Gillian McGarvey wrote:

>Is anyone else on the list bewildered by the fact that so many of us
>suggest that we actually BRIBE programmers to do what should be part
of their job and give us the info we need to document the software?
>Isn't it the job of management to instill a higher value of
>documentation into programmers/developers and construct processes
>that implement it? Aren't we just re-enforcing programmers'
>lackadaisical attitude when it comes to working WITH tech writers by
>coddling them with snacks?
>
The important item here is, "Isn't it the job of management to instill a
higher value....etc."

Yep, it is. However, "management" does not want to hear your problems.
(Now understand, this is the "real world" I'm talking about here.) I
notice that on job interviews these days, the question, "What do you do
when you can't get reviews or information from engineers?" What they are
*really* saying is, "This is your problem and how would you handle it".
I was asked that very question in an interview with a large manufacturer
of telephone testing equipment. I didn't say I'd bribe them, but them I
didn't think of it either.

MOO

Don Smith

______________________________ Reply Separator
_________________________________
Subject: Re: Getting the programmers to come to you
Author: David Castro <techwrtr -at- CRL -dot- COM> at INTERNET
Date: 3/12/97 3:25 PM


At 02:28 PM 3/12/97 -0400, Gillian McGarvey wrote:

>Is anyone else on the list bewildered by the fact that so many of us
> suggest that we actually BRIBE programmers to do what should be
part > of their job and give us the info we need to document the
software? > Isn't it the job of management to instill a higher
value of
> documentation into programmers/developers and construct processes
> that implement it? Aren't we just re-enforcing programmers'
> lackadaisical attitude when it comes to working WITH tech writers by
> coddling them with snacks?
>
>
>
>
>Or am I just in the wrong profession? :-)

Sure, we *shouldn't* have to. We *shouldn't* have to do a lot of what we
do. Tracking down changes in the way the program works, looking for the
right person to answer your question, creating branch pages in your help
file because the programmers can't seem to figure out how to choose ID
numbers from the range indicated (my personal peeve). But, we have to,
nonetheless. The more ways we can find to solve these problems, the faster
we can get our documents completed.

Let me put it this way...are you likely to change the way programmers do
things? Most likely not. So, when you can't change the situation, adapt!


-David Castro
techwrtr -at- crl -dot- com
http://www.crl.com/~techwrtr

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