New writer needing advice

Subject: New writer needing advice
From: "Lori Lake" <thelakes -at- sympatico -dot- ca>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 22:51:50 -0400

Hello All,

I would really, really appreciate any advice with this situation.

Situation
I am woking for a small software development company who has decided that
the documentation department is too costly, so they've let 4 out 6 people go
and the 5th person has quit two weeks ago--that leaves me. This is my first
job as tech writer and I've only been with this company for a few months.

Problem
I am not being included in the weekly Manager's meetings, I don't have
access to the latest build of the software, the next release is only two
months away, I'm not sure when, if at all, another writer will be joining
the department, and there has been some major changes to the interface.
Oh yeah, the biggest problem I'm facing--I'm a newbie!

Question
Where do I start? What is the best way to determine whether or not I'll meet
the deadline (there are two 1,000 page manuals--printed, pdf, and online)?
Without having access to the interface, should I document what's in the
external designs and verify later?

Again, thank you for your advice.

Lori






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