Re: Dredging for dept information

Subject: Re: Dredging for dept information
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 10:54:12 -0800

> > I propose to steamroll the project leaders into recording all pertinent information henceforth, but
> > would like some help on the format they should follow. Are there general guidelines that I can
> > start with, or should we hold a pow wow and formulate our own from scratch?

and John Posada wrote:

> To be honest, if you can get them to "recording all pertinent information", you shouldn't worry how they give it to
> you...just be thankfull that you are getting it at all.

While I tend to agree that *any* information is better than none, I must point out that engineers and programmers tend to
forget about documenting anything unless consistently reminded that documentation is part of the product. And while
"steamrollering" project people into doing specifications and other wonderful things might also create a lot of
long-simmering resentment, the bottom line is that something gets created by which one can see what the product is
intended to do. I'd advise a little more tact and discretion, but I'm generally after results, too.

I suspect the original writer's previous experience was in a development environment where specifications or something
like that were required, and thus he 'grew up' believing that this is normal. <chuckle> We should be so lucky. The
truth is that we still scramble for source information in any form we can get it - ranging from tape-recording the
ramblings of some programmer or engineer to working with the product and then asking questions to sitting in on
development arguments/meetings, etc. Sure, it would be nice to have specifications as source material, and project
people should generate them - but there are a lot of 'shoulds' that don't get followed in the real world.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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