Re: May Day,May Day?????

Subject: Re: May Day,May Day?????
From: Glen Warner <gdwarner -at- ricochet -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 23:25:36 -0700

Zaigham_Khan -at- netsolpk -dot- com wrote:

> Hi All,
> I am a professional technical writer for the last 6 months. Instead
> gearing up for the next milestone of skill improvement i am
> and disillusioned to be a technical writer, because it is more like
> interpreting the gods when they dont even have time for us.

The old 'Recalitrant Engineer' situation --!

Someone once suggested bribery for these situations ... i.e., try
offering the programmer chocolate. Booze works too, I hear ... but
you can't really trust the quality of the information you're getting
after a certain amount of this pursuasion has been applied.

> I believe there is no such importance of a technical writer in a
> house and it is generally being thaught that any company can do
without it
> quite well, because the developers can do that tooooo.

A lot of programmers believe they can do your job better than you can.
Usually, the customers (or worse, reviewers, in print for all to see)
complain about the resultant documentation, and the company lets the
tech writer do his/her job ... in an ideal world.

Have you tried discussing the situation with your boss? Sometimes
mangerial pressure will smooth things over with racalcitrant SMEs ....
but then again, they may resent the fact that your boss went to their
boss, and still give you nothing ... in which case, you go back to
your boss.

It's also been said on this list at least once before: document
everything -- including attempts to interview the problem person,
communiques with your boss, etc., etc. E-mail this stuff to your home
account -- just in case -- and update the info daily (or however

Ideally, you should be able to explain why your document is late (or
whatever) by pointing to a nicely laid-out documentation of events
which should show exactly where (or, in this case, "who") the problem

> I am an Asian working in Asia, there are not much people of my breed
> here, while i believe the things are different in Europe and
> somebody aware me of whats going on.

I'm not familiar with the climate for tech writers in Asia ... but you
might start doing some "research" on other companies in your area with
their technical writers. You know ... call different companies, talk
to their HR-folk, ask to speak with someone in Documentation or
whatever they call it ... and test the waters. If they all have the
same complaints, it may be time to move --! If they don't have the
same complaints, the best advice I can offer would be to see if these
other companies have openings, and be ready to jump when the time

In the meantime, do your best, keep your cool, learn what you can, and
when the time comes to jump to a new position, don't hesitate.

Bottom line, don't give up on the field because of one bad experience
with a programmer (you know what they say about the social skills of
some of these folk ...).

Good luck ...

> Regards,
> Zaigham Khan

"Well, you know what they say: the bigger they are --"
"-- the faster they stomp you into nothing."
--Something to contemplate before battling a god


*** Deva(tm) Tools for Dreamweaver and Deva(tm) Search ***
Build Contents, Indexes, and Search for Web Sites and Help Systems
Available now at or info -at- devahelp -dot- com

Sponsored by Information Mapping, Inc., a professional services firm
specializing in Knowledge Management and e-content solutions. See or 800-463-6627 for more about our solutions.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: FrameMaker TOC
Next by Author: Re: tool nonsense (gearing up to be a tech writer)
Previous by Thread: May Day,May Day?????
Next by Thread: RE: index entries - why won't they go away??

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads