portfolio again - clarification

Subject: portfolio again - clarification
From: R Greenberg <roxanne_98 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 14:52:44 -0800 (PST)

Thanks, everyone who answered my questions about what
and how much to put in a portfolio. I have to clarify
a couple of things.

First, I am not a contractor - I work as a full-time
employee. I am job-hunting because my current job is
50 miles from where I live, and I'm getting tired of
the commute. I know that contractors routinely tell
their employers they are job hunting, but this is not
done in situations with regular employees. I would not
feel comfortable with my manager knowing I am looking.

Second, I work for a large company whose products have
been around for many years, so I do not write entire
manuals myself. A lot of what I do is add
documentation for new software that is being added to
existing systems, or fix problems that are in the
manuals (such as incomplete or incorrect information).
Occasionally I might add a chapter to an existing
book, but usually I will be adding a sentence here,
changing one there, or in the case of a reference
manual I work on, add new procedure descriptions to
different sections of the book. So there aren't very
many large portions of writing that i can point to and
say it's mine. My work is interspersed among the work
of the many people who have handled that particular
book before me.

I do have 3 good pieces of isolated writing that is my
own. One is an extra chapter - 28 pages long- that I
added as a troubleshooting section to an existing
book. Another is an internal document for other
writers to use, explaining the basics of the UNIX
system (most writers I work with don't know UNIX). And
a third is a group of procedure APIs that I added to a
huge reference manual. I thought I'd just print out
the specific pages I had written from each, which
amounts to about 50 or so pages, total. Why would
prospective employers want to see an entire 1000-page
manual, most of which i did not write? I thought it
would make sense to show them just the parts I did
write.

As for the confidentiality issue, how about if I blank
out, or "genericize" the names of products, etc, so
that instead of calling a product by its real name, i
could refer to it in my sample as the "XYZ product,"
or
something like that?

I like the idea of not allowing prospectives to keep a
copy of my portfolio, and just showing it to them
during the interview. If that would impress upon them
that I am responsible about confidentiality, so much
the better. Someone on the list seemed to imply that
NON-contractors don't have to worry about this as
much, but I don't understand why - could someone
explain this?

Thanks,

Roxanne
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