Tuesday, January 8, 2013
I still have the checklist from last time.
"Boilerplate is any text that is or can be reused in new contexts or applications without being changed much from the original. Many computer programmers often use the term boilerplate code." - Wikipedia.
I hear this sort of thing so often during meetings. I believe it was a pet peeve of a friend who used to work at my company who frequently pointed out specifically which members of management were known for either boilerplating or parroting. There are times repeating what's been said is appropriate, if it's true paraphrasing that benefits understanding. I've been known to paraphrase by using pseudocode as I know it'll bridge the gap between manager-speak and developer-speak. But that's paraphrasing, not parroting. And it's definitely not boilerplating. Right before the holidays I was in a meeting where this happened. The temptation to get up and leave is almost overwhelming, particularly when you've been spending time evaluating which meetings you attend have merit. And while I'm willing to believe that there are some things that are said that may seem obvious boilerplate to me that aren't to others, statements like "we should take another look at our existing process" should immediately trigger a klaxon. At that point you should just be quiet and let others talk. And if there's deathly silence, then maybe you didn't need a meeting, or you have the wrong people in attendance.
I like the idea of a checklist of obvious things people have said in the past. Paste it right up there next to the stories and bug list.
Snarky: This type of issue should have been caught earlier. We’ll have to work together to improve the process. Across silos. There are obvious things we can do. That should be the takeaway.
Title: I still have the checklist from last time.