Re: What Technical Writers Do

Subject: Re: What Technical Writers Do
From: Jim Grey <jimgrey -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 19:41:00 EST

Vince Putman's button got pushed:
>After over 30 years in this biz, I know we are not credited with
>the sense nor ability to understand a technical subject. Many times I have
>researched a subject, wrote the original copy, reviewed it with engineers, and
>then have management berate me for using the engineer's time in interviews.
>Then they discredit me by attributing my writings to the design engineers.
<el snippo>
>The worst being the presumption of those who think anyone could do
>what we do. After all we just pretty it up!

I've been gone from my last company for 4.5 months now. They didn't
understand or appreciate my skill, either; same song, another verse. The
company filled my position by moving a gal over from Training, hiring a
guy (who'd never written a manual before) to write a few manuals on
contract, and using a young intern when she wasn't busy. The other day,
I got E-mail from an application engineer: "Boy, you don't know what you
got till it's gone. We just released BLAH 5.0 [a complete rewrite of the
product]. The manual's not even close to ready yet. I'm using an early
version of it. The kid [intern] wrote most of it; she just plainly doesn't
understand the product. But worse, the writing isn't good and doesn't go
in depth. I used to correct you on the technical side sometimes, but I
could always count on you for the rest. That's gone. I'm working on
porting BLORT 3.x to 4.0 [a major upgrade]; God I need you."

They *do* learn.

jim grey
jim grey |beebeebumbleandthestingersmottthehoopleraycharlessingers
jimgrey -at- iquest -dot- net|lonniemackandtwangin'eddiehere'smyringwe'regoingsteadyta

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