competitions (was RE: exposing the soft underbellyof "merit raises")

Subject: competitions (was RE: exposing the soft underbellyof "merit raises")
From: "Michele Marques" <marquesm -at- autros -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2001 15:11:04 -0500

Bruce Byfield wonders:
> Why else would
> people enter documentation competitions that are forgotten a week

> after they're awarded? They're looking for external validation, and
> they want it so badly that they don't care if those external marks
> of validation have any real importance or not.

A couple of reasons (besides what you mention):
* If your documentation wins an award, your marketing and sales folks can
add "award-winning documentation" to their marketing/sales pieces.

* In some competitions (e.g., the STC), you actually get detailed feedback
from the judges. If you are a lone tech-writer, it can be helpful to get
some outside feedback. Even if you are not a lone writer, it might be
helpful to get feedback from people not so closely connected with your
product. This isn't just for a "good job" slap on the back, but to get some
constructive feedback on how you might improve the documentation.

Now, titles? I don't really care, as long as most of the time I can do the
type of work I prefer and I get paid enough money. At a former job they put
our titles below our names on a little sign outside the office door. I wore
multiple hats and had a title too long for the sign, so it was truncated to
"Software Trainer & Document".

Michele Marques
Technical Writer,
Autros Healthcare Solutions
marquesm -at- autros -dot- com

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