TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
>What do you do when the SME in question took a month-long vacation and came back a week before the project >release, so that he had a week to review the entire manual, instead of the month that everyone else had? >What do you do when you point this fact out to him, after he complains he wasn't given enough time to >review, and he laughs and replies that if the manual goes out the door with errors, it's my fault?
Reading some of the comments about SMEs, I find myself bemused by
the fact that my experience seems relatively benign compared to
most peoples. I think that one of the reasons may be that I've
been working with open source developers for the last year or
more. Before that, I think I would have agreed with the majority
What makes open source developers easiers to deal with is that
they see a project as a collaborative effort. All of them may
feel they have a right to comment on the documentation, but, by
the same token, they also seem to be graceful about accepting
input about usability and interface design from the writers.
I'm preparing an article on open source writing, so thanks to the
list for sparking this insight.
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189
"At the sick bed of Cuhullain,
We'll kneel and say a prayer,
When the ghosts are rattling at the door
And the devil's in the chair."
- The Pogues