Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Read All About It

I hesitated to write this post, fearing it may be overly-picky. However, having just made this mistake myself, it would seem time to discuss the importance of reading.

We received a report that one computer was not running one program. Firing the program up, a message was displayed and I thought I knew what it said, so clicked 'No'. Sure enough, the program would not run any further. Trying a couple of other things didn't work and it was only when I stopped to read the message in full that I realised exactly what the issue was and could resolve it. Face meet palm.

The importance of looking at and reading what your computer is telling you cannot be overstated. If your website registration is rejected, it almost certainly isn't because they don't like you or because the wind is blowing in the wrong direction. The chances are the website will tell you exactly why it's been rejected. Password too short. Postcode needed. That kind of thing.

Thinking you know what a question is asking and hitting a response can be a dangerous pass-time if you haven't read the question properly. Some critical decisions made in some of the programs we've written require a specific word to be typed on the keyboard. So rather than just clicking 'Yes' or 'No' you have to type the word 'DELETE' for instance. There can be no excuse that you didn't know what you were saying 'Yes' to.

So read all about it. Then you'll know exactly what 'it' is.

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