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Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 10:14 AM


Ten Centuries

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majorbloodnock (4/12/2013)And you expect every request from the user community to be plainly put and that they know exactly what they want?



Yes. They're called requirement specs and they are a must where I work and we don't go forward without them. I leave the brainstormng sessions to the PM's to hammer those out, I don't deal directly with end users, thank God. If the PM's need my database expertise and help then they come to me with pointed questions,.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1441789
Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 11:05 AM
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TravisDBA (4/11/2013)
[b]djackson 22568 (4/11/2013)[/b
If laws really forbid us from figuring out how people think through and solve problems, our laws need to be changed.



djackson,

Good luck with that. If you have been tuned into what is happening lately with all of our government bureaucracy, all I can tell you is it is only going to get more restrictive in the future.


First, I agree with you.

Second, after reading the post you just made about requirement specs, and knowing you have achieved the unacheivable somehow, maybe we need to rethink whether it might be possible to regain control over our politicians in this country.

...

Nah.


Dave
Post #1441797
Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 11:06 AM


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TravisDBA (4/12/2013)
majorbloodnock (4/12/2013)And you expect every request from the user community to be plainly put and that they know exactly what they want?



Yes. They're called requirement specs and they are a must where I work and we don't go forward without them. I leave the brainstormng sessions to the PM's to hammer those out, I don't deal directly with end users, thank God. If the PM's need my database expertise and help then they come to me with pointed questions,.


And how many times have I seen those, met them, only to be told by the user "Sorry, but that isn't what I wanted"; too many times actually.

Seen it in the government contract world as well.



Lynn Pettis

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Post #1441798
Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 11:13 AM
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majorbloodnock (4/12/2013)
TravisDBA (4/11/2013)
Any answer the man seem to give was not the right answer, so either the question was not plain enough up front or the interviewer was playing games with the candidate. at least it seemed that way to me, and that is deceptive in my opinion. "Tell me PLAINLY what you want and I will try my level best to give it to you, but I left my crystal ball at home today..." is one of my favorite responses to people who make nebulous requests.

And you expect every request from the user community to be plainly put and that they know exactly what they want?


Um, yes I do too. I know I won't actually get that all the time, and maybe not even that often. However what is wrong with expecting people to actually have some idea how to do their jobs!!!

We all know that the end user who is capable of communicating thier actual needs is as rare as an honest politician. OK, maybe not quite that rare, but you get the point. Why should that lead to accepting apathy on our part? The biggest issue I see with us (technical, educated, intelligent, creative thinking, logical group that we are) is we gave up on end users years ago. They think we don't care about their needs. In reality we do, we just know that they don't want to spend 5 minutes thinking things through, they expect us to understand what they need simply by bumping elbows with them once in the hallway. If we want the organization we work for to understand our value, we need to fight against their unwillingness and show them why and how we can help them.

For almost everyone I work with at the company I am employed at, their initial reaction to my questions is annoyance.

For almost as many people, after they see what I do with the information I obtain, the next time I have a question they are ABSOLUTELY EAGER to provide the information to me, in some cases before I even ask!

Those that don't get it will never get it. Still, I prefer to focus on those that I can train, rather than those I cannot.


Dave
Post #1441803
Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 11:20 AM


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djackson 22568 (4/12/2013)
majorbloodnock (4/12/2013)
TravisDBA (4/11/2013)
Any answer the man seem to give was not the right answer, so either the question was not plain enough up front or the interviewer was playing games with the candidate. at least it seemed that way to me, and that is deceptive in my opinion. "Tell me PLAINLY what you want and I will try my level best to give it to you, but I left my crystal ball at home today..." is one of my favorite responses to people who make nebulous requests.

And you expect every request from the user community to be plainly put and that they know exactly what they want?


Um, yes I do too. I know I won't actually get that all the time, and maybe not even that often. However what is wrong with expecting people to actually have some idea how to do their jobs!!!

We all know that the end user who is capable of communicating thier actual needs is as rare as an honest politician. OK, maybe not quite that rare, but you get the point. Why should that lead to accepting apathy on our part? The biggest issue I see with us (technical, educated, intelligent, creative thinking, logical group that we are) is we gave up on end users years ago. They think we don't care about their needs. In reality we do, we just know that they don't want to spend 5 minutes thinking things through, they expect us to understand what they need simply by bumping elbows with them once in the hallway. If we want the organization we work for to understand our value, we need to fight against their unwillingness and show them why and how we can help them.

For almost everyone I work with at the company I am employed at, their initial reaction to my questions is annoyance.

For almost as many people, after they see what I do with the information I obtain, the next time I have a question they are ABSOLUTELY EAGER to provide the information to me, in some cases before I even ask!

Those that don't get it will never get it. Still, I prefer to focus on those that I can train, rather than those I cannot.


I have to agree. At a previous employer I found one user that was trainable. After asking many questions regard each of his requests he learned what to provide me up front the reduced the number of questions, decreased turn around time for the requests, and got him what he wanted. He went from my least favorite user to my favorite user. Too bad he left shortly after he learned what we needed to help him better and faster.



Lynn Pettis

For better assistance in answering your questions, click here
For tips to get better help with Performance Problems, click here
For Running Totals and its variations, click here or when working with partitioned tables
For more about Tally Tables, click here
For more about Cross Tabs and Pivots, click here and here
Managing Transaction Logs

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Post #1441805
Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 11:31 AM


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My turn to apologise for not being entirely clear.

I fully expect the business users I talk with to know what they want. However, I do not expect them to know (or necessarily fully understand) what they're actually trying to achieve. Translating a user's wishlist into a design that recognises the underlying business processes is a skill in itself, and if users could do it, they'd quite possibly be in a different career.

Personally, I find my users are very open and quick to give me what they want. However, I usually have to burrow quite a bit to get to the underlying requirements, and as soon as I explain the way I'm thinking, they will like as not come back with "Oh, I didn't realise you could do that! Well, in that case....". At that point we enter round two where they're reconsidering their request in the light of more possibilities than they expected.

None of this is me giving up on end users, and nothing they're asking me is a trick question, but it does require me to think on my feet a great deal.


Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
Post #1441815
Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 1:30 PM


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Major,

I understand exactly what your saying, but I cant address that particular aspect properly because I don't work with the end user directly. My laisons are more with the PM's. But I tend to agree with djackson, I expect people to have a pretty clear idea of what they want before they come and waste a lot of my time. Not that doesn't happen in the long run sometimes anyway as Lynn so aptly stated. However, if people would just do some research (legwork, google,wikipedia,etc.) beforehand a lot of that would be minimized. But you are never going to get rid of it totally and I fully understand that.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1441886
Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 1:37 PM


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TravisDBA (4/12/2013)
Major,

I understand exactly what your saying, but I cant address that particular aspect properly because I don't work with the end user directly. My laisons are more with the PM's. But I tend to agree with djackson, I expect people to have a pretty clear idea of what they want before they come and waste a lot of my time. Not that doesn't happen in the long run sometimes anyway as Lynn so aptly stated. However, if people would just do some research (legwork, google,wikipedia,etc.) beforehand a lot of that would be minimized. But you are never going to get rid of it totally and I fully understand that.


The problem with relying on the users to do this, "if people would just do some research (legwork, google,wikipedia,etc.) beforehand," is that many times they don't understand what can and cannot be done with current technologies or the complexities of getting it to work at times. That is why we get paid the big bucks. It is our job to understand our technologies and how they can be used to meet a specific need, if possible and offer alternatives if specific requirements cannot be met as requested.



Lynn Pettis

For better assistance in answering your questions, click here
For tips to get better help with Performance Problems, click here
For Running Totals and its variations, click here or when working with partitioned tables
For more about Tally Tables, click here
For more about Cross Tabs and Pivots, click here and here
Managing Transaction Logs

SQL Musings from the Desert Fountain Valley SQL (My Mirror Blog)
Post #1441895
Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 1:57 PM


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Lynn Pettis (4/12/2013)
TravisDBA (4/12/2013)
Major,

I understand exactly what your saying, but I cant address that particular aspect properly because I don't work with the end user directly. My laisons are more with the PM's. But I tend to agree with djackson, I expect people to have a pretty clear idea of what they want before they come and waste a lot of my time. Not that doesn't happen in the long run sometimes anyway as Lynn so aptly stated. However, if people would just do some research (legwork, google,wikipedia,etc.) beforehand a lot of that would be minimized. But you are never going to get rid of it totally and I fully understand that.


The problem with relying on the users to do this, "if people would just do some research (legwork, google,wikipedia,etc.) beforehand," is that many times they don't understand what can and cannot be done with current technologies or the complexities of getting it to work at times. That is why we get paid the big bucks. It is our job to understand our technologies and how they can be used to meet a specific need, if possible and offer alternatives if specific requirements cannot be met as requested.


Again, as I stated above, I can't address that particular aspect as my liasons are with the PM's, not the end users, thank God. I do tend to expect that from the PM's though...


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1441913
Posted Sunday, April 14, 2013 7:53 PM
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (7/25/2008)
...We may ask about things we haven't solved, just to see if they approach it like us or have an interesting take...

Seeking advice from the person who hasn't been hired yet, I believe, is ethically wrong. I know few cases when employers during the interview were asking such questions, getting the answers and not hiring people after all.
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