RE: The Wave of a TW's Future: (was RE: Tools & Technologies)

Subject: RE: The Wave of a TW's Future: (was RE: Tools & Technologies)
From: "Pete Sanborn" <psanborn2 -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 12:46:31 -0500

Jenise asks:
What will our profession look like? Will we find ourselves in one of two
groups: (a) Content Experts or (b) DTD/DTP Experts? Will we need to arm
ourselves to be both (a) and (b), or will we need to choose one and

In my opinion, in 25 to 30 years, if we are not careful, we may cease to
exist as a profession. Employers are reluctant to provide documentation for
their products and only do so to support sales. Most buyers (be they
businesses or people off the street) are unwilling to buy sophisticated
products without documentation and/or training.

>From a business perspective, both documentation and training departments
are, typically, loss centers. It is rare that a company makes money from one
or both departments. I have seen a subtle trend growing in Internet job
postings seeking Administrative Assistants/Technical Writers. That gives me
concern about the future of our profession.

Another aspect that causes me concern about our profession is that we have
begun to engage in minutiae about documentation. We are already segmenting
our efforts into hardware, software, web-based, etc., etc., and focusing
less (to a certain degree) on the bigger picture of developing documentation
that simply explains how to use, repair, install, whatever, a given product.
Granted, that may seem to be an oversimplification, but that's what
management sees/perceives, and it is management's perceptions upon which we
depend for our jobs.

Pete Sanborn

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The Wave of a TW's Future: (was RE: Tools & Technologies): From: Cook, Jenise

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