YAPC::Europe 2013 in Kiev

YAPC::Europe 2013 “Future Perl”

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Coping with Help from Non-Techies: Technical Tips & Social Engineering

By Smylers from northwestengland.pm
Date: Wednesday, 14 August 2013 16:50
Duration: 20 minutes
Target audience: Any
Language: English
Tags: collaborating productivity

What happens when non-developers help out with a project? Tips for managing collaboration, and software suggestions so that their contributions don't harm your productivity.

Sometimes a colleague from another team is brought in to assist with ‘your’ project — perhaps to save the developers some time by taking care of the ‘easier’ tasks. Maybe somebody knows HTML and will take over designing the templates.

Or an enthusiastic amateur has put together a little system themselves, and it _nearly_ does what's required, but you've been asked to just sort out a couple of things with it.

As developers we have our ways of working: version control, text files, command lines, SSH, Unix — all these things can be unfamiliar to non-developers, who may frankly feel they don't need to know about them just to tweak the colour scheme.

But equally you don't want to have to give up on using tools and processes that you're used to and make you productive.

And the bafflement can happen in the other direction too — some of the technology that I've seen non-developers use certainly wasn't familiar to me: Windows, Dreamweaver, pointing and clicking all over the place.

This talk provides some general guidance on how to bridge the gap, so techies and non-techies can live in harmony and collaborate on the same project, as well as specific suggestions of software configurations and graphical Windows applications which we've found non-techies can use to fit in with your existing dev processes. Once you have them committing to Git, life becomes much easier to manage.

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