Re: Salary Review...

Subject: Re: Salary Review...
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "Humbird, Len" <len -dot- humbird -at- intel -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 15:10:42 -0700

"Humbird, Len" wrote:

> Maybe we should also include dishwashers and marketing flunkees who think
> they're good at writing just so we can have a bigger sample? I don't live
> and breathe STC, but today there is no other professional association that
> caters to tech writers as well as they do. What they represent makes up the
> best market segment for survey data. As small as the sample is, the result
> is still a useful tool.

Your sarcasm is unwarranted. There are many writers who aren't
STC members or who don't participate in it. There are also many
wannabes in the STC who aren't earning a living as writers.

My point is that it's important to know the limits of your tools.
For example, I know of one local writer who negotiated for her
salary based on the STC salary survey. Needless to say, she
wasn't pleased when she met other writers of her experience who
were getting higher salaries.

> Your "new high-tech" scale has been around at least as long as I've been in
> this racket - the mid 80's. I was in that "coder" pay range even back then.
> If you gain the respect of your programmer peers (that is, you can 'think'
> and talk like a programmer), then you can make a case for earning similar
> pay. But if they think you're nothing more than a word janitor, then you're
> only pulling down the rates for everyone.

True, writers with special or advanced knowledge have always
commanded high fees. However, what is new is that,in some
companies, writers without this type of knowledge are getting
coder pay. I suspect that this change has something to do with
the flattening of office hierarchies, although there's probably
more to it than that.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"Dundee, he is mounted and rides up the street,
And the bells they ring back and the drums they are beat,
But the provost (douce man) says, 'Just let them be,
'For the town is well rid o' that devil Dundee."
-Sir Walter Scott, "Bonnie Dundee"

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