26 June 2008

When "Can I..." or "I'm going to..." becomes "I want you to..."

Dear Audrie,

Today I have been mostly making "final tweaks" to a fairly simple project that I've been working on. It's a content site with a Flash gallery.

It's quite easy, but we're not dealing directly with the client. We're dealing with a go-between art studio who produced the design. They've basically done the whole rebranding and needed someone to put the site together.

This sounds great from a programmer's point of view: No designing, just programming... more like this please.

There is a major problem with this though. The design studio tend to get their own "ideas" of how the copy should go and what goes where. All within their power? 'Yes' you might say.

However, it becomes a little silly when as the programmer you are providing a product to a client that allows them to update their website themselves and you end up making all the changes.

I'm not going to name drop because that may enlighten the client a little too much for the studio's liking. It may also highlight how this particular studio stays in business.

I know this sounds like I'm just getting at the studio in question, but rather I'm trying to portray just how difficult a programmers life tends to be. You sign up for one thing and do 101 other tasks.

In my experience the following rules apply:

Is it possible to... means ... Do that...
Can I...                   means ... Do that...
I'm going to...       means ... Do that...

And so I find that instead of one person to answer to, I have hundreds all vying desperately for my time. And all increasing in their requests.

Why can't people tell you all of the things that need doing and just let you get on with it? I much prefer that as opposed to this 'do this and get back to me' approach.

Ah well.

Until next time!

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