[etoys-dev] questions are just questions

Timothy Falconer timothy at squeakland.org
Tue Sep 8 09:00:46 EDT 2009

On Sep 7, 2009, at 2:44 PM, Timothy Falconer wrote:
> On Sep 5, 2009, at 2:07 PM, Yoshiki Ohshima wrote:
>     At Sat, 5 Sep 2009 11:52:46 -0400,
>> Timothy Falconer wrote:
>>> Are these changes unsafe or time-consuming?
>> Did you read Kathleen's point?  If we change the categories in
>> object catalog, many guides will be out of date.  In that sense, it  
>> is
>> time-consuming to synch them with the given amount of time.
> No, I had missed Kathleen's post in the forums.  Thanks for pointing  
> it out.
> I agree, if it changes documentation at all, we should save it for  
> the winter release.

BTW, I'd like to underline a pretty important point about how I  
manage . . .

When I ask a question in a meeting or in email, it's just that, a  

There is no decision implicit in what I'm asking about.  I am not  
trying to win a debate.  I know it's common for people to push their  
own point of view.  My job is instead to resolve (and expose)  
different factors.

Very often, I ask questions surrounding an issue, so that a more  
informed decision can be made.  I'll often ask a series of questions  
that are counter to the mood of the group, and then at the end, go  
with the group consensus.

This is deliberate . . . it's a very useful management skill.    
Someone needs to ask pertinent contrary questions.

Usually my questioning is seen by software groups for what it is ...  
the manager asking a bunch of annoying questions, or later when they  
learn to respect me more, being thorough.   There are always many,  
many factors that are not spoken of, usually with business and users  
in mind, sometimes usability, etc.  In most contexts, I have the  
authority to simply say, "This is the way we're doing it" after the  
debate.   With Squeakland, decisions are based on consensus (or at  
least majority).  Even so, it's still my job to ask contrary questions.

Asking a contrary question is not a sign of disrespect for another's  
opinion.  It's not even a sign of disagreement with another opinion.   
It's just a question.

Take care,

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