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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
A seasoned developer's little discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Tips for more effective white-boarding

Paraphrased from a Stackoverflow Q&A -

* Use a minimal set of symbols: Boxes, arrows, circles, and lines get you a long way. Prefer simple things to more advanced modeling techniques - everybody understands boxes and arrows. Borrow from UML. Rectangles are things. Lines are associations. 3-D rectangles are servers. File-folder icons are packages.

Think aloud while drawing to help the audience understand what you're drawing.

Communicate with your audience. White-boarding is not one-way communication. If you are unsure whether a message got through or a drawing is understood, just ask.

* When the audience is sufficiently small, get people close to the board, and make pens readily available so people can draw with you. This allows for better visually aided communication, and an even more efficient white-boarding session.

* Take enough time to write and draw "neatly", but prefer a steady communication rate over perfect hand-writing. This is a hard trade-off which requires some practice, and practicing while keeping your writing and drawing understandable will increase both your writing and drawing speed.

* Take a picture of your session. You can throw that up on a share after the meeting and it is great to be able to review past sessions that way.

* Write your label first, and draw the box around it afterwards.

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