RE: More on Validating documentation

Subject: RE: More on Validating documentation
From: "Barb Einarsen" <barb -dot- einarsen -at- nettest -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 10:33:53 -0500

Eric asked:
So, in your experience, are relationships with developers really as
non-existent or dysfunctional as some threads on TECHWR-L would suggest?
Is there really no sense of "we're all working together to make this
overall product as good as we can make it"?

I reply:
I have always had a neutral to good experience with developers (and
management, and quality control, and technical support, and marketing
...). I include neutral because I have had the unfortunate experience of
working places where you are completely buffered from other groups. I
did not enjoy these places and did not stay long.

Eric asked:
If so, are _you_, as a tech writer, part of the solution,
or part of the problem, or both? Why?

I reply:
Part of the solution. First, I do not go into a job expecting to be
anything other than another valued team member. Second, I take pride in
my work and want to do the best job I can. Third, I conciously make my
work easy to criticize, which means that I get a lot of feedback and am
not viewed as having a large or fragile ego.

Eric mentioned:
In virtually every tech writing job (contract and
permanent) I've had, I've had to spend some time in "retraining" the
developers and QA staff that I worked with.

I reply:
I have been told many times that people changed their view of writers
based on their experiences with me, but I did not set out to retrain
anyone. I just do my work and try to help in any way I can. However, one
thing does happen at every job, I always seem to get more
responsibilities (education materials, UI review, UI design, marketing
collateral and so on). Lucky for me I crave variety.

Thanks for the questions. This was fun!


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