Saturday, April 19, 2008

More on the devaluing....

My job just gigged me this way last week.

I was sent a high-level design document and asked for an effort estimate to implement it. The problem? I had no idea what the feature was, since the design doc had been written almost a year ago, and no developers were in the document review. So I have no idea what this feature is, ho it differs from the current system, and what parts are affected by the changes, except what I read from the design document, and that's very light, having been written by a "software architect" who favors handwaving verbiage (is that a mixed metaphor?) instead of clear requirements.

So I told the manager that I needed to re-review the design doc with the architect, and scheduled a meeting. And until I am satisfied that all the design issues have been thought out and nailed down, I will not be giving an effort estimate - I was burned last year by a design document that left out major portions of the feature, and also was supposed to 'just include' another feature entirely.

The Ninja Lesson: do not give answers that you do not know - always wait until you know enough details to make your answer sufficiently safe for you and your team.

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