Re: Thoughts on working WITH developers...

Subject: Re: Thoughts on working WITH developers...
From: Rowena Hart <rhart -at- XCERT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 12:59:35 -0800

Eric wonders how the "us vs. them" attitude
gets started:

>I've been watching the messages go by about working
>with developers and various ways of coercing/bribing/
>blackmailing/manipulating information out of them...
>I wonder, though, why it seems that so many people start
>out with the us vs. them mentality in the first place.

I hope I'm not stating the obvious, but it is our
job to get information out of SMEs. If I can't get
an SME to share/divulge/cough up the required
information using a "working with" approach, I
start having on-the-job panic attacks in which I
picture myself standing in line at the unemployment

One or two bad experiences with an SME who
refuses to "work with" technical writers is usually
what gives tech writers that defensive, edgy
attitude that is mocked so brilliantly in Dilbert

I don't know about you, but good interviewing skills
are a job requirement that have been written into my
job description. How many SMEs have the reciprocal
"good communication skills" actually written into their
job descriptions? The need for good communication
skills may be implied, of course, but is it demanded?

Good interviewing skills include the "working with"
skills that Eric and several others described in
earlier posts. However, I still believe that in order
to have a well-rounded interviewing toolkit, we have
to acknowledge (and expect) to use interviewing
techniques that are, at times, confrontational, tricky,
coercive, and deceptive. I don't advocate using
these interviewing techniques in your first salvo, of
course, but if push comes to shove and you need
to get your job done ... it may be time to change your
interviewing approach.


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

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