Re: Level 1, Level 2, Level 9 billion

Subject: Re: Level 1, Level 2, Level 9 billion
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Ed Gregory <edgregory -at- home -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 08:01:28 -0700 (PDT)

The software I'm talking about is your phone company
plus some switches and some computers (OK, I'm
simplifying it). In fact, when I was there, we used to
kid about putting together a product called "Phone
Company in a Can", or "Phone Company Lite".

How much documentation do you think it takes to run
something like Bell Atlantic or Sprint. How about the
Billing system. Workforce Dispatch software...
Now...imagine maybe 10 flavors of this software based
on what platform you are running your phone company
on...HP? SUN? IBM 9000? Vax?...oh, yeah...about
different release versions for each platform?
Maintenance versions? about documentation
in other languages.

How about a 1,000 page document just of test plans for
one particular OS flavor, for one particular product,
for one particular release multiply that
by may 15 different release levels.

Ed...not all software documentation is what you get
inside of the MS Word box.

> If the result is that they are rapidly turning out
> software that requires
> "hundreds of thousands of pages of documentation",
> I'd say there is still
> something seriously wrong. ;-}
> SNIP...
> >I can say that the results were that much more
> >software went out on time with less defects and
> >from mid-70% customer satisfaction rating to
> mid-90's.

John Posada, Merck Research Laboratories
Sr Technical Writer, WinHelp and html
(work) john_posada -at- merck -dot- com - 732-594-0873
(pers) jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com - 732-291-7811
"The art of creating software that is usable by individuals is a communication skill. It is not a programming skill."
--Bill Atkinson, creator of MacPaint and HyperCard
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