Engineer with passion for testing. Currently working at Epam Switzerland as Lead Test Automation Engineer in Zurich. Always thinking about improvements and food 🙂 Passionate skier, cyclist and hiker. Home cook and out-loud reader.
Fighting with Tribal knowledge
Tribal knowledge refers to a situation where knowledge is passed verbally from one person to another. In most projects. You come in. You get a mentor/college that helps you. You have endless knowledge transfer sessions. Documentation is there, but it’s not clear. You ask questions … it ends up with your mentor describing to you what documentation is really about. There is too much info at once. You take notes. Remember „if it’s not clear, just ask” …
After a few weeks/month it’s better. Documentation is way clearer now, but you started noticing it’s outdated. You’re still not an expert, so you decide to create something new. You start getting what it is all about. The problem is gone.
„Hey, let’s meet Tom. He’s the new guy, do you have a minute to show him around?” – asks your boss.
„Sure, will do” – you cannot hold your excitement …
Now it’s your turn to be a mentor. You notice that the documentation seems awfully outdated. „No worries Tom, just ignore those pages from 2019”. Then you proceed to explain every bit. Almost like you would be telling a story to someone. It’s a bit easier though, the story is written down.
At that time you think – „I will be the change I seek – I will fix it”. So you create more documentation … that someone needs to maintain …
It’s not all lost. There is a way out of it. It’s not easy and the win is not guaranteed.
We will go through suggestions of what to do to not need documentation or how to organize your knowledge so the documentation is not a must. I will also show you that documentation has so many different forms and how to let the new-joiners explore the world.