RE: real tech writers? RE: Out-of-Work Tech Writers and Switching Careers

Subject: RE: real tech writers? RE: Out-of-Work Tech Writers and Switching Careers
From: Price Lisa - IL <PRICEL -at- tusc -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2002 16:35:55 -0500

At the software development company I worked for many years, my salary and
bonuses were tied to the belief that there was no "value added" by the
documentation or online help I developed. In fact, it caused quite a stir
when the VP in charge of setting up the new bonus program announced to the
project authors that technical writers were not to be included in the pool
of those team members eligible for a bonus.

The project authors had quite a different idea, and TW's were included, but
it illustrated to me how little the higher ups knew about what I (and other
tw's) did and how it added to the product's value.

Nothing is so simple as to be boiled down to one thought, but it does occur
that we seem to suffer from a lack of PR and education about our

-----Original Message-----

Actually, I complained of nothing. I stated, and I believe that I can make a
case for this assertion, that tech writers are, as a class, less respected
and less well paid than many other professions because of the way our
profession has evolved in the computer age. I speak for no group but those
of us who are technical writers involved in the software development
industry. Of that group I believe that I have a pretty good picture, having
been involved intimately since even before its inception.

Repeated salary surveys of the last thirty years will support my contention
on the pay issue, and numerous studies of the industry detail the inception
and explosion of our somewhat ragtag, homegrown profession.

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