RE: New Hires

Subject: RE: New Hires
From: Win Day <winday -at- home -dot- com>
To: bdoonan -at- coreco -dot- com
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2000 18:30:50 -0500

At 09:07 AM 1/6/00 -0500, bdoonan -at- coreco -dot- com wrote:
>People will cease to own a development project from
>beginning to end. Technical communication departments will be staffed by
>specialists in a number of different areas who will attend and manage a
>central information repository.
>Speaking selfishly, and being a lone tech writer, if tech writing becomes a
>field where people specialize in specific elements of a project I'm
>splitting. That's what I love about the job. I'm a producer; I get to be
>involved in all aspects of documentation production. If I wanted to sit at
>a desk and specialize in one thing I would have become an engineer...they
>get more money anyway.

I have to agree with Brian on this one.

To continue on the same thread, I found that I disagreed with a lot of
JoAnn Hackos's article for much the same reason. The trends she described
might be true for large organizations with corporate tech pubs department.
Most of them are not valid for the companies I contract to -- small to
medium companies who don't need a full-time writer.

Management at these companies is quite aware of the value of good technical
documents, and of the value in having a professional technical writer
prepare them. After all, that's why they hire me!

But they don't have tech pubs departments, and they don't need me full time
all the time.

I have one client for whom I do small projects part-time when needed. I
might do four or five 100-page reports for them in a year.

I also take short-term full-time contracts, where I'm usually involved in a
special project. My current contract is just that -- I'm working on the
FDA submission for a medical device. This company hired three contract
writers to assist on the project (they do have one full-time writer on
staff in head office). Once the submission is complete, they won't need
the three of us any more.

And that's just fine with me. By that time I'll be looking for something
different to do.

Win Day
Technical Writer

mailto:winday -at- wordsplus -dot- net

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