June 14th, 2007

Sinfest - Alien Cyborgs

A Programmer's Nightmare

One of the fun things I do for my day-job is the development of databases to be used in-house by different departments. I really enjoy the act of creating and transforming information. The goal is to provide tools to allow data to be created and then allow the for the transformation of data into something greater than the individual parts. My ultimate goal has been to tear down the barriers between 'silos' of data, allowing for the integration and fusion of the once separate datum. Cool stuff.

There is a nightmarish side to my lovely programmer's world. It seems that I have to write documentation for my creations. There is an interesting twist that drives me to do this. The average database application has core users that HAVE to use the software. They will learn the ways of the program via one-on-one instruction, their own handwritten notes, and perseverance. It is part of their job. I can write a very minimal amount of documentation for these people. The rest of the people who could use the application, but aren't forced to, require more documentation and instruction. In theory, this documentation has to be pretty thorough. Yuck. BUT, this is work that must be done if my creations are going to spread further.

I could write this documentation. Hmmm... I could also just move onto another application or add new 'neat' features to an existing one (which is what I'm doing today). In the end I will write the documentation. My sense of work integrity says that I need to provide documentation for that time when I am not here. It is the problem of other people if they don't take advantage of it. Sides, better docs will allow my creations to further infest the company, I mean to say, more people will find the utility in my hard work. (smile)
Sinfest - Cafe 42

Group Rules

I've been thinking about groups, probably because I've been investing a lot of energy into figuring out the how/why of my own group interactions.

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Groups have the challenge of maintaining their existence while interacting with outsiders. An even greater challenge of a group is governance of its inner parts in support of the group's charter. People can be outside a group by choice or circumstance. The life of an outsider can be difficult, liberating, or both. Not everyone is compatible with every group charter. Blessingly there are many groups to choose from. The truly ambitious outsiders can start their own groups. In some ways the outsiders are a group of their own. I don't think the human being can go very far without experiencing some aspect of the group dynamic.