Re: Thoughts on working WITH developers...

Subject: Re: Thoughts on working WITH developers...
From: "Meek, DavidX L" <davidx -dot- l -dot- meek -at- INTEL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 14:13:30 -0800

Eric Ray wrote:

Hmmm...that's possibly true, but using working
with techniques, I've rarely had to be confrontational,
and never deceptive or tricky.

I've never had to be deceptive, tricky, or confrontational. In the main,
I've been extremely fortunate (or maybe the first impression I've made tends
*not* to be that of someone who is deceptive, tricky, or confrontational).
There have been occasions, however, in which I have encountered
less-than-helpful SMEs.

One case that stands out in my mind is a programmer who insisted I was too
ignorant to understand him. Rather than get into a word-war with him, I
exposed this falsehood by "interviewing" him via e-mail, and by e-mailing
him a summary of our face-to-face meetings (just to ensure that I had not
"misunderstood" him). When next he paraded out his weary excuse, I had
text, written by or agreed upon by him, that proved otherwise. The
misunderstandings soon vanished.

I have experienced a smattering of similar episodes, and the two constants I
have seen are:

*The "I'm busy" syndrome. Hey, I'm busy too! If I weren't, I'd probably
not have my job. My response to this excuse is usually a jocular, "Aren't
we all."

*Continued problems are often a management issue. I do my best to get
information from the SMEs in a manner that impacts their work the least. I
call; I e-mail; I call again; I e-mail again. I keep track of my attempts,
and I keep my management informed of my work through weekly status reports.
One of the items in my report is an "issues" section in which I report that
I'm still awaiting feedback from x, y, and z. It's not my job to get
information by hook or by crook. It's my job to make a *reasonable*
attempt, and then to let management know of my progress. It's management's
job to keep things flowing.

(Any statements made above are mine, and mine alone.)

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

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