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Archive for March 24th, 2006

on Documentation

Let’s face it, engineers don’t like to do documentation.  Engineers wants to build stuff.  It’s the kind of instant gratification that everyone like.  But in the land of offshore engineering, documentation has become a necessity.  Since you are not in the same location, there needs to be a viechle to get your idea across.  And man!  Documentation for a large system is not an easy task.

When I was in Amazon, writing tech spec is mainly for my own use.  Ocassionally it would get shared by a couple of other engineers.  And most of the time it is for the PM.  Design reviews are held in person, where I can answer questions and engage in design discussions.  But now I am shipping this thing offshore, everything is different.  I can no longer make assumptions on how things are handled, how things are being implemented.  To catch everything in a design document turns out to be a very difficult thing to do.  Almost everytime I turn around, there is something that I had made an assumption on.
I am probably going to leave it for now, and use scrum to maintain a tight hand on the progress.  Now that I think of it, I am learning a whole lot of different stuff, mostly outside of engineering world.  I start paying attention to different off the shelf softwares for the entire company, on cost, how to work with (or how not work with) recruiters, how to work with sale, what to pay attention to on a contract; the everyday IT stuff.  and at the end of this outsource gig, I would have learn quite a big about how to PM an offshore team.

From CMU to Amazon, now to Charity Folks; there is no better way to learn than to learn by doing.

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