What is Hard Work?

Subject: What is Hard Work?
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 11:25:34 PDT

Question for all: What is hard work?

Some Technical Writers say "Forget defined processes -- I get things done by 'hard work'".

My opinion:

Einstein said, "Never confuse motion with action". It is difficult for me to believe that Einstein was never involved in a software development/documentation project!

Typical development/documentation project: Coders banging away at their CRT hour-after-hour (when they are not reading programming books). Technical writers often following suit. Management loves it; after all, everybody is working through lunch and putting in plenty of OT.

Working real hard - right? Wrong! This is hacking: a very obsessive/compulsive, one-sided, activity that always results in poor quality product.

Hard work is doing tough analysis work and then switching mental gears to effectively communicate with other developers and the end users.

Note: As a very wise manager once told me, 'switching mental gears' is the main reason we resist defined processes. Defined processes prompt us to 'to what needs to be done'. And for most people 'switching gears' to 'do what needs to be done' is just 'to much'.

Tony Markatos
(tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com)

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