A Video is worth a ton of detail

I work with a lot of foreign developers.  For the most part I really enjoy it.  I love talking to people around the world, and I love getting to know about them, and their lives.

But it can be difficult to get your point across on technical details of a minute failure on a complex piece of software.

I have a defect tracking system set up (Mantis, which I really like).  I use spreadsheets, and PowerPoint. I’ve tried a lot of things to make communication easier.

Today I downloaded CamStudio and did a few screencasts of a couple errors I had been seeing.  I sent the video to my Project Manager in Jordan and he loved it. 

This is the same guy that wanted everything in detail in writing.

But a video changed his mind.  The video (with my voice-over explaining the nature of the bug) was so much more helpful.  The first video he saw was only 2 minutes long – but I had already spend 25 minutes trying to describe the error in text.  A two minute video did a MUCH better job.

So I spent the rest of my day making 24 more videos – each just 1-3 minutes long.  Each demonstrating and narrating a specific bug,

I think I”ll be doing this a lot more – in fact, I think ALL of the defects I enter will be at least accompanied with a video.  Video just contains too much useful information for it not to be included!

Comments

  1. Tried CamtasiaStudio? It rocked the last time I checked, and is more full featured too. But might be overkill for bug reports though.

  2. And the people of South Africa. I personally believe that everyone can and should.

    Sorry, I am still chuckling over that LAST video on your site. As has been said so many times before, a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when the spoken word isn’t your mother tongue. What an innovative approach Rob.