Re: The First Two Questions (Was: Design Document)

Subject: Re: The First Two Questions (Was: Design Document)
From: Amy Poos <apoos -at- TREEV -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 13:28:14 -0500

Which one of these is the document that I (the technical writer who does not
write design documents) use? I am expected to review what's in store, to
provide feedback on the plan from a user's perspective and from a logical
perspective, and to start writing the documentation before I see what is
really developed.

My concept of a design document is a document that all groups provide input
to and all groups use to do their jobs. In my software development
environment, these groups include Marketing, Development, Documentation,
Test/QA, Customer Support, and Training. Is this totally out of line with
what other companies do?

Amy Poos
Senior Information Developer
TREEV*, Inc.
apoos -at- treev -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ben Kovitz [SMTP:apteryx -at- CHISP -dot- NET]
> Sent: Thursday, December 17, 1998 10:49 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: The First Two Questions (Was: Design Document)
[Amy Poos] <SNIP>
> "Design Document" can mean many things to many different people.
> One type of "design document" is an interface design: a
> description of all the rules for how the computer's input/output
> devices are to behave while the computer is running a program yet
> to be written. That's the kind of information that programmers
> need in order to write a program. Alas, most companies skip
> interface design, blurring it with requirements or thinking that
> requirements give the programmers all the information they need.
> If this is the kind of document you want to write, then your SME
> is the interface designer.
> Another type of "design document", especially as the term is used
> by programmers, is a description of a "high-level design" of a
> program, to to be read by a certain kind of programmer, called a
> "coder", to tell them what subroutines to write and what these
> subroutines' inputs and outputs should be. In this case, your
> SME would be the programmers who invented the high-level design:
> the classes, subroutine specifications, and so on.
[Amy Poos] <SNIP>

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