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7 Dev Team Secrets IT Managers Need To Know
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User Rank: Ninja
9/17/2016 | 6:58:49 AM
Documentation is really not that big of a deal these days. There are plenty of tools that extract code comments ad crunch that into a pretty looking browser based doc systems. The key here is to do two things
- write comments in the first place (devs who refuse to write verbose comments need to get fired)
- stick to the format that the doc tool understands

If that doesn't work out, hire a full time technical writer with a focus on that writer being technically skilled. Tech writers do not only do the butt ugly CHM, but should be capable to craft plenty of other forms of documentation. What they will need is the information and details.

Since it was mentioned, travel expense reports are a necessity, but companies can do way better with this. It depends on the company size and the amount of travel done, but best is to hire someone who does nothing else than book and properly charge travel and related expenses. Employees can request travel, manager approves it, and that sends the request to the travel agent of the company who books whatever is needed based on preferences. Having an expert travel booker will get the company the better deals and book connecting flights with reasonable amount of time between. It makes a difference if one connects through a tiny airport or through O'Hare.

Engineering or sales rep time is way too valuable than waste it on kludgy travel portals and convoluted expense reports. There is always a chance that there are additional expenses, allow those to be submitted and approved electronically or have the resident travel agent feed the systems as needed. Introduce per diems and apply them for the time traveled, even if someone else paid. Yes, you may end up double or triple paying for a dinner, but that is the least the company can do for making people travel, especially when it is on weekends. The company will also not come across as a nickle and diming miser. And set a fixed per diem no matter where someone travels, do not make them jump through hoops looking stuff up on federal web sites to get the applicable pay rate based on the location they travel or pass through. I am sure there are some regulatory or legal issues with that, but that is something the accountants can figure out, not your developers or engineers.
User Rank: Strategist
9/23/2016 | 12:31:30 PM
Hardware, Plus Access
Nice article - good point about developers needing better hardware, and I'd add they also will need better access to that hardware (i.e. admin control of their local PC) so they can run all those command line utilities. Back in the early 2000s, one of the first things we did in my corporate development group upon receiving a new PC was to blow away the "standard corporate image" and re-install Windows. 

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