Re: Lone Writer Rant "You don't need to know that..."

Subject: Re: Lone Writer Rant "You don't need to know that..."
From: George Mena <George -dot- Mena -at- ESSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 17:33:17 -0700

On one hand, these developers sound like real idiots. On the other
hand, always make sure to think the questions through before going to
the developers for the answers. Here's what happens a lot of times:

a) the answer you seek is in the question you ask, whether you realize
it or not
b) the answer can be staring you in the face and you can't see it
because you don't know what it looks like

It always helps to be able to tell the developers exactly what you need
and WHY you need it. Presenting your request for information from the
user's standpoint is, in my opinion, the best way to ask the
developer(s). Always try to solve these problems at the lowest level
whenever possible before going to the developer(s).

As for the attitude "nobody ever reads the manuals", that particular
attitude has its genesis in a company's top level management, starting
at the CEO's office and trickling down to the rest of the company. Let
the individual who signs your time card handle that issue for you. He
gets paid to interface with other managers to make sure the job gets
done. You don't. :D

Make sure the resume's up to date. The longer a company's top level
management maintains such an idiotic attitude, the sooner the company as
a business entity will lose more money than it makes. Don't stick
around for the layoffs when you don't have to. :D It's easier for you
to fire the company. :D

George

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John David Hickey [SMTP:jdavid -at- FARABI -dot- COM]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 1998 2:31 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Lone Writer Rant "You don't need to know that..."
>
[George Mena] snip
>
> Every time I've got a question on a procedure that challenges the
> developers, it's the same old tune:
>
> "The user would never do that, so it won't ever be a problem"
> "Why do you want to know that?"
> "You don't need to know that information."
> "Nobody ever reads the manuals anyways, so what's the
> difference?"
> "Who cares?"
>
> So I have to keep hammering away with questions until I get the
> answers I
> need, but it annoys the developers and it discourages me. It's like
> what I'm
> doing is a necessary evil, but not that important. So my deadlines get
> blown, documentation is moved to the bottom rung on the priority
> ladder, and
> the books never see the pubishing light. At least I still get paid,
> right?
>
> Ahhhh... I know, it's part and parcel of the job. But have any of you
> ever
> been able to promote documentation in your companies so that it
> becomes
> more important? Have you ever been able to convince your clients that
> documentation should be given more of a priority? If so, how did you
> do it?
>
> --
> Be seeing you,
>
> Dave
>


From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=



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