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Warning: if you are young and idealistic, read no further.

The situation described is pretty common. Learn to deal with it or go off and build something for yourself.

I was in a talk by Phillip Greenspun last week. One of his many quotes was, "Human beings tend to be imprecise, but computers demand precision". People who gravitate to computers appreciate precision. Those who ask programmers to do things, don't appreciate precision. And can't be rewired.

My current boss has described it as: "Most people have no imagination and can't read (specs). They will only understand what you are going to build when you show them the finished product, or a reasonable protottype."

You should meet, you should document, you should foster a team atmosphere. But in 20+ years of programming and many companies (oil, banking, research, dotcom, web design, etc), it's still the same: Programmers sitting around complaining about the people they try and please.

Bottom line: most of the time your customers won't appreciate what it takes to get the job done. They may be happy with the result, but they won't appreciate what it took. If you don't want to go crazy, you must accept this at some level. And come here and commiserate :)

In reply to Re: A Cautionary Rant by voyager
in thread A Cautionary Rant by footpad

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