Re: us vs. them

Subject: Re: us vs. them
From: "Alex Silbajoris" <alsilba -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 05:40:23 PDT

I worked for one company whose "geeks" were antagonistic to the tech writers, but in most workplaces that wasn't the case.

That outfit had poorly-disciplined programmers with a tradition of locking themselves in an office, creating some new software that makes a fortune, and documenting none of it - actually guarding it with some jealousy. Our group of half a dozen writers had a strong manager who stood up for us, but often the administration let us down.

Heh, at one major auto manufacturer attempting to switch to BaaN, the programmers were instructed not to devote any time at all to the training writers. I had a good relationship with them, though, and we would actually sneak drafts and notes back and forth over coffee breaks.

These days I'm in a much smaller company, and though it has been around for a few years it hasn't matured much. I'm creating their first templates, but I haven't gotten them to the point of using version control or even an inhouse web - yet. I've managed to develop a workable rapport with the gruff programmers, I'm seen as sort of an "answer guy" by the marketing people, and I'm working on educating the admins on some of the basics of tech writing practices. From a professional standpoint, I'm pretty happy; I feel like I have a lot ahead of me.

Plus I get this neat desk and cool mechanical pencil...

- A

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