Last month at Tech-Ed, I was discussing with someone from the Solution Accelerators team about how I wished that Microsoft would produce some administration documentation for developers, and/or developer documentation for administrators, so that the two groups would be able to talk the same language.
[As a f’rinstance, back in the days of Windows 2000 and before, if you were a developer writing code to log a user on to the system and run a process (say, for instance, in your spiffy little FTP server), you would face an error if your code wasn’t running in the context of an account with SE_TCB_NAME privilege.
But you couldn’t tell an administrator to enable the SE_TCB_NAME privilege on the application’s account, because he’d have no idea what you mean.
To an administrator, that privilege is called “Act as part of the operating system”.]
“Well,” said my conversational partner, “That’s because you’re a jewel.”
“That’s awfully nice of you to say, you’re somewhat of a gem yourself.”
“No, not ‘jewel’, a ‘dual’ – you span the two worlds of IT Pros and Developers.”
He went on to explain that there are few duals, and that this was why there were few resources that address the disparity between what is developed, and what is administered.
A lot of the examples I came up with (e.g. the name LUA versus UAC) were rooted in the history of development – where Microsoft’s naming police have chosen a name that they felt was “catchier”, “more marketable”, or simply “not offensive to <some-group>”, as a replacement for an internal name. Changing the internal name in APIs that have already gone through beta testing is not generally possible, so the developer name stays as the old name, and the administrative interface is changed to present the new, marketing- and legal-friendly name or image.
Are you a dual? What are some of your challenges in communicating across the boundaries between two worlds?