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We here at tall ship studio, have been silent for a bit... and this is mostly because we are now in the throes of finals; Most of us are Students after all. This is not so much an excuse, as an explanation, we have some progress being done but, unfortunately it is less than the glamorous or striking stuff.
One of the things that annoys me the most, is trying to explain, or show progress I have made, to people who are not developers, or to people who don’t really have a reasonable understanding of the project. For instance:
I could work for 15hrs on a single method call, and say: “I spent the day and a half making the descriptor call reflect the database state tables.” And unless you had a good idea what the database schema is, or where the Descriptor call was being used and for what end, that would mean nothing to you.
So what can you do? Since this is not meant as a complaint, this is the next logical question.
The way I see there are a number of options.
1. Just don’t talk to people. Lack of communication is crippling, so this is not a viable option.
2. Explain things in the simplest terms. This can work, if people have some previous knowledge of the project/task… but you have to be wary, this may feel to many people that you are patronizing them, or constantly talking down to them. This can lead to awkward interpersonal relationships, at best.
3. The last option I will discuss is to explain everything and take your time filling in the person you are talking with. As a whole people are intelligent and able to understand what information they are told, assuming they are interested in knowing it, and that it is presented in a reasonable non-condescending way.
So which is best? Well really none of them is best, they all have pluses and minuses… for instance, if people think you are constantly talking down to them they won’t want to work with you… making any chance of advancement go out the window. Or, if you try to explain everything to people, they may avoid you because you take up too much of their time, or they may not listen/ignore what you say; which is really a waste of time for both of you.
Generally, what I do is answer questions they ask. If they ask you a vague question, respond with a more general response… if they ask a very specific question, give them specifics; however in both cases, be observant, if their eyes glaze over it is likely that they got lost along the way. If they look distracted or uninterested, make your answer more concise.
I should probably comment, that I am by no means the most of personable people… nor am I great at dealing with people… I am a nerd, and have been my whole life, so my social skills are questionable at times, so I invite you to voice your opinions if you feel you have a better solution. Comment below, and let us know.
Tall Ship Team
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