I don’t RTFM. Ever!

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Last week we were present as exhibitors at the NY Tech Day event. It was a great experience and we were happy to be part of it. We enjoyed  engaging in interesting conversations with a lot of very diverse people, and we can’t wait for the next edition!

Our booth’s promotional strategy was centered around a couple of funny T-shirts displaying intentionally provocative messages. But beyond the apparent lightness of the messages, we were actually trying to communicate some of the fundamental reasons why Quandora is a spot-on product for knowledge sharing.

Manuals suck. They are so 00’s. And I don’t RTFM. Ever.

This is what our T-shirts were proudly displaying, Quandora-orange on plain white. 🙂

As we’d hoped, the T-shirts caught people’s attention quite a lot. It was exciting (and really funny at times 🙂 ) to see people’s reactions –  there were many and various.

There were the ones LOL-ing and saying “That’s so true, guys don’t ever change this line!”.

There were the ones just intrigued – they didn’t particularly love or hate manuals, but were wondering why somebody would.

There were the ones slightly offended: “You say manuals suck – I am one of those writing them!” (We apologized to those ones and explained the context and that we don’t really hate manuals).

And there were the ones (not so many) that simply didn’t know what the acronym stood for (which is this).

We even got “do you sell T-shirts?” (our answer was a tranquil-friendly “No, we do software.”)

Either way, it was a pleasant way to start a conversation, which was after all our goal to being present at this event. Talk to the people. Tell them what we do. Hear what they do as well. Get feedback. Exchange business cards. In some cases, discuss more in detail a particular project or feature.

So, why the fake manual hate?

Our product is a Question & Answer software for teams and communities, and one if its most common use cases is facilitating technical teams share their knowledge and learn from each other.

We see that the present day developer is expected to continuously learn on the fly (sometimes tens of) new technologies, development environments, frameworks, software products… 20 years ago, you were training in one “big” technology, and then you were spending 5 years working on it with only a few occasional training updates. Not any more.

For an agile developer, reading manuals for each and every one of the technologies he has to use is simply not an option: too time consuming, and too theoretical. The new way of learning is by means of getting his hands dirty playing with the code, and asking the people around for help when getting into problems.

Conclusion, we believe that our product, Quandora Question & Answer, is an efficient tool for technical teams to share knowledge and learn from each other:

  • the Q&A format is as natural as it gets
  • it produces short, factual information that’s ready to use, and easy to find
  • it doesn’t require a dedicated person or team to create and maintain the content: everything is done collectively, on a crowd-sourcing model
  • it is always up to date and it always reflects the team’s current preoccupations.

Thank you to those that stopped by at our booth, we enjoyed talking to everyone! And if you liked our T-shirts story, contact us to request your own  – don’t forget to tell us what’s your take on the whole manual suck thing 🙂

Looking for a great way to ask questions and build knowledge with your co-workers? Quandora enables simple, efficient knowledge sharing with your team, way more fun than a mailing list or a forum. Try Quandora

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