Reading these stories about belligerent SMEs really brings home how good life is for me. "My" engineers are all my friends and great people who think documentation is equally as important as the program. They'll tell you that without the documentation people won't use their software, or they'll just use it enough to get frustrated. My boss, the big Kahuna of the company, says our products will fail without the documentation. The result of all this? When an engineer makes changes or thinks up something new, he or she calls ME over to see it and experience it, and add my two cents as it is developed. Cool, huh?
No, we're not hiring but I'll let you know :)
> From: HICKEY, John David <jdhickey -at- GROUPE-PROGESTIC -dot- COM>
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Thoughts on working WITH developers...
> Date: Thursday, March 25, 1999 3:36 PM
> >*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."
> I've gotten this attitude as well, although the most extreme case of it was
> when I needed to interview a SME and he flat out stated he had no time to
> spend reading/correcting/commenting on the documentation. His defense was:
> "If I don't have time to code it, you won't be able to write about it."
> To which I replied:
> "And if I don't write about it, no one will be able to understand it. If
> they don't understand it, they can't use it and it makes your work
> When this SME finally did show up for a review of the documentation, he
> charged into the meeting room declaring: "I hope you realize that I'm
> volunteering my time here!" (I found out later that his supervisor forced
> him to show up). To which I replied, "Are you still getting paid? Yes? Then
> how is it volunteer work, exactly?"
> Okay, I guess this isn't the best example of making friends amoungst the
> SMEs. But there's only so much bullying, intimidation, and frustration I
> should have to put up with before I start pushing back.
> Be seeing you,
> John David Hickey
> Technical Writer