Re: An Engineer has infected my young mind!

Subject: Re: An Engineer has infected my young mind!
From: bernice kieffer <bernice_kieffer -at- mentorg -dot- com>
To: Sierra Godfrey <kittenbreath -at- hotbot -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:37:38 -0700


As the lone Tech Writer in a company, you need to set the boundaries.
Polietly remind the Engineer that the company is paying him for his
engineering expertise and you for your writing expertise. You have
the right and more importantly the duty as a writer to deliver the
information the way you think is best suited for your customer.

This is not going to be easy, I know I've been there, but if you
handle it in a professional manner it can help you establish a
good working relationship with the engineer.

Bernice Kieffer
Technical writer

Sierra Godfrey wrote:
> After a talk today with the software engineer who's product I'm writing a large manual for, I became confused. I'm hoping you Listers can help me sort things out.
> The engineer insists the manual should be presented as a reference manual, with all the information there, and very little tutorial-style steps. I disagree--the product is complex and difficult to understand.
> I feel the only way a customer will be able to wade through it is to know the necessary actions that must be performed to get it working and maitain it, and follow short steps to achieve them.
> The engineer feels manuals should be read two to three times over, because the information is densse, and include all points. I disagree. There are different types of readers, to be sure, but my readers will not know anything about this product and will need a lifeboat--user-friendly, short steps. Not all the information at once, which they won't know what to do with.

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