Re: Could you possibly be a chimp? (was: Are you a writer?)

Subject: Re: Could you possibly be a chimp? (was: Are you a writer?)
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 09:58:09 -0700

Rob Writer says

> But hey, companies need people to doc their GUIs too. I understand.


No condescension there, no sir......



Regardless, you raise valid points here. But again, I pose my what-if
question. What if you get asked to document something about which you are
not knowledgable?

True story:

I interviewed for a job. They asked me if I knew any programming. I said
just a teensy bit of COBOL. This company didn't use COBOL; they were into
OO languages. But the company's product was a database-driven back-office
tool with a newly added Web interface. Lo and behold, my last job was with
a company whose product was a database-driven back-office tool with a
newly added Web interface. Nice fit. I get hired. The peasants rejoice.

Then my first assignment comes around....

Boss: We need you to write an API doc from the ground up.

Me: What's an API?

Boss: We'll be needing it in four weeks. Here are the names of some guys
you should interview. Good luck.


As the incredibly talented actor Keanu Reeves asks in "Speed" - what do
you do?


I wrote an API doc. The best I could. I spent oodles of my hard-earned
dollars on C++ books, I tape-recorded my interviews with SMEs, and
repeatedly told my boss that I didn't feel equipped to write this stuff.
He nodded a lot and said things like mmm-hmmmmm.....

I only stayed 4-5 months in that job, and was glad to leave it. That was
several years ago. I recently spoke to somebody involved in development
there, and learned that they still use my API manual, updating it with
each release. No major gotchas ever arose, apparently. I credit that to
luck, NOT skill on my part.

My point? This stuff happens. So I'm of the "make lemonade" school, I
guess. YMMV.

-Keith Cronin
___________________________

I'm pretty excited - I found this great job posting for a position as a
high-speed culinary distribution technician at some local firm called
McDonald's. Wonder what kind of software they make...


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Now's a great time to buy RoboHelp! You'll get SnagIt screen capture
software and a $200 onsite training voucher FREE when you buy RoboHelp
Office or RoboHelp Enterprise. Hurry, this offer expires February 28, 2002. www.ehelp.com/techwr

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