Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Outline format

Engineers hate writing.  Programmers like to say that the code, itself, should be all anyone needs to figure out how it works, but managers don't buy this.  They insist that engineers document what they're doing, usually under the guise of ISO 9000.

For the times when engineers have to write, they write in ways that reflect how they think and how they do their jobs--step-by-step and in hierarchical trees. These are things engineers see every day, and they understand them.  

Enter "outlines."  The biggest selling point of outlines is enforced organization. With outlines, it's clear how two topics relate to each other and how relevant the topic is. Not only that, it's easy to search an outline and learn how that point fits in the big picture or every detail about that point.

They're fast, accurate, get the job done, and don't requite complete sentences; this is what engineering is all about.

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