I spent the last few days in a seminar for work. The gist of the class was to teach us a better methodology for software development. Even though I'm not actively developing anything anymore, I still need to consult with developers during the process. It was a very useful class, albeit mostly common sense.
The main thread being: communicate better with everyone on the team. Including the business and marketing people (and yes, the business/marketing people have to attend this as well, so for them it would be “communicate better with the IT department”).
In my past life I was making small enhancements within my particular area of IT, so usually those requirements made sense. Now I'm reviewing large projects, and not a day goes by when I don't ask myself, “why would you even want to do that?”.
But that's not for me to say. So....whatever.
I'm no longer being beaten about the head daily, or working stupid-crazy hours. So honestly, it doesn't matter to me if the requirements state that unicorns and fairies should fly out of an elephant's butthole - as long as I can get a basic understanding of said butthole, as well as the size and pointyness of the unicorn.
Still, there's the need to entertain myself. I get a chuckle out of Dilbert-esque documentation. “Adding value”, “growing the product” or “making it sexy”. Do people really talk like that? Oh yes.
Mostly it's just funny or a little bit cringe-worthy. Although I've had a few times when I wish I could disinfect my brain from the verbal gonorrhea.
Even though the seminar was pretty good, I noticed the prevalence of overused buzzwords. For your reading pleasure:
I have an “ask” - All over the country business professionals have stopped saying, “I have something to ask you” or “I have a requirement”, in favor of this abbreviated silliness. Grow up. You sound like a third grader with pig tails and a lollipop.
Revolutionary and Innovative – A standard for any marketing campaign. Although I'd like to see it used more often in daily conversation. For instance, “I found a revolutionary and innovative way to get rid of gophers. I shoved a urine-soaked cat bed down it's hole. “ True story.
Thought Leader – So culty-cult-cult. “Obamacare is revolutionary and innovative thus making the President a true Thought Leader”. Except every time someone says “Thought Leader” my brain hears “Thought Police”. In some cases, it's the same thing.
Value Added – A catch-all for any product that's been improved. Have you improved the absorb-ability of Depends For Wombats? It's value added.
Please. Just stop.