Crash Course in Learning

The new DDA Medical site creation is still underway and just yesterday I got to see the XML structure that we are going to be using for loading in and organizing all the data like the text content, video file names with length and cue point times, and image file names.  Needless to say, it was a fairly complicated looking structure.  I at least have worked with XML before so I already knew the concepts of XML and how the layout works and such.  The writers on the other hand have not worked with XML before at all to my knowledge and they were in on the meeting because they are the ones who are supposed to fill out the XML content based on what they wrote.  I know that I was a little foggy on some of the items, so I can only imagine how confusing it was or will be for the writers having never worked with it before.

This little crash course in XML for the DDA writing staff may seem cruel and unusual for people who are masters of words, but people here are thrown into random roles all the time to get things done.  Everyone just does their best and there haven’t really been any problems yet.  I was recently told to write descriptive paragraphs on a few of our projects for something else DDA is doing.  I’m no writer, but I managed.  They weren’t perfect paragraphs and needed to be revised by a degreed writer, but they weren’t bad.  Just yesterday I saw a programmer and a videographer working together to install a tv mount on the wall.  These same two guys and an animator were previously used as handymen to fix some siding.  Our videographer has also been trying his hand in Flash in the past month.  He was making a video player for a website.  We all may be used for some things we weren’t yet trained in, but learning is a good thing.  In the future, maybe we could all be routinely used for the new skills we learned and we might just find something new that we like.