RE: craft vs. science vs. art

Subject: RE: craft vs. science vs. art
From: Phil Levy <PLevy -at- epion -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 14:56:33 -0400

That is the kind of place I want to work at. Why didn't you tell me this ten
years ago!

-----Original Message-----
From: Doc [mailto:dlettvin -at- attbi -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: craft vs. science vs. art


Phil Levy said:
If you mean that a bunch of writers each owns one document (one writer/one
document) then all I can say to indicate that you are wrong is that all doc
managers agree with you.

Shall we revisit that generalization please, Phil. Not that I'm unused to
being demonized but I know at least four doc managers who, like yours truly,
believe in communal development. They all have similar reasons:
It's more efficient.
It's more fun.
Fewer mistakes.
Better up-front analysis.
More manuals than writers.
Better control of deadlines.
Better quality assurance within the department.
Provides all writers with experience as lead.
Better shipping celebrations.

My department didn't miss a deadline for 10 products over a 6 year period.
We released simultaneously in at least 3 formats (paper/PDF, help and HTML).
For paper alone there were more than 60 full manuals produced during that
time. Total staff was five including me.

Because of our success rate, we were allowed to design our own office space.
What we designed was a modified lab. There were no cubicles. Our
workstations were laptops. Our desks were mobile carts. This let us move
around to work with different people or different test machines at different
points in the project. When not pounding keys or testing software, people
tended to gather at the central conference area where there was a large
table and several whiteboards.

There was one private office which was used for personal conferences and
phone calls.

Some might be horrified at this, but we had a blast. We made one hell of a

Not ALL doc managers are Dilberted up y'know.


Your monthly sponsorship message here reaches more than
5000 technical writers, providing 2,500,000+ monthly impressions.
Contact Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) for details and availability.
Save $600: Create great-looking Help files and software demos with
RoboHelp Deluxe. Get RoboHelp and RoboDemo - our new demo software - for one
low price. OR Save $100 on RoboHelp Office in June with our mail-in rebate.
Go to
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: craft vs. science vs. art
Next by Author: RE: Re(4): craft vs. science vs. art
Previous by Thread: Re: craft vs. science vs. art
Next by Thread: RE: onscreen review

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

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads