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Welcome to the wonderful world of software development. Not to mention
Technical Writing. At least YOU KNOW about the build of the software. I
was recently in one of the production directories to check an enhancement of
a software and found that we had not only released 4 other versions (read
bug fixes) of our software but included many new enhancements/bug fixes that
they just plain decided I didn't need to know about. That was, until,
customers called up and said, "where's the help for this feature?" At this
time, I was asked, how come it wasn't written. I simply pointed out that if
they (the company) does not keep me in the loop I cannot be responsible for
things I do not know about. This has been one of the biggest complaints
I've had here-- being kept in the loop. Unfortunately, I'm sure you'll find
the similar experience from other writers on this list. As well as
completely opposite experiences.
I think this has more to do with the attitude of "the software needs to get
done, the help can follow."
A useful suggestion to this, would be, call a meeting with the QA,
programming and anyone else concerned with releasing software, if the
company is small enough you may be able to implement some sort of review
process where you're not on informed of changes to the software but are
instrumental in helping them along.
Just my .02 (American)
From: Jackie Gishkin [mailto:jgishkin -at- temposoft -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2000 8:08 AM
Subject: Release Note problem
I have just started a job as a technical writer in France without having
any real prior experience. My first project is to write Release Notes
for the latest build for our "internal software". The problem is that
the Builds are changing everyday. Recently, I have started to write
about a new feature only to find out that it had completely changed 2
days later. I now have to go back and delete what I wrote. I was told
that I will be printing out the Release Notes once we come across a
really "good" Build.
Also, instead of having a few Release Notes floating around for the same
Version, is there a way to compile them together into one coherent
Since I am in a start-up, there haven't been any established ways for
doing technical documentation.
Do any of you have some advice to give me? I would apprciate it.
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