Our company, or at least our business unit, came into being about 5 months ago. Right now, we are selling initial consultancy and training services, but also working on marketing material.

Of course, abstraction is part of our architecture work and training, but I ran into it in a different context as well. Today I was having a discussion with a colleague on the presumed added value of what you could call a commercial writer, the person who writes texts for your leaflets based on your input.

In some of the texts written by our, externally hired writer we couldn’t find the big picture of what we wanted to be there. Instead, we found every detail of what we, technically trained, told him about architecture, requirements, software configuration management etc. The man explained to us that a text I wrote on architecture was really helping him understand the field, but somehow, the result was not as expected.

Thinking back on this – I think the reason is obvious. With all the details we provided on a field he is not familiar with it’s impossible for him to abstract to the level required to write a good leaflet text. At the same time, we were so anxious to get all our information into the leaflet that we didn’t provide him with a suitable level of abstraction in our explanation.

A tough lesson, but a valuable one.