RE: Author Credit

Subject: RE: Author Credit
From: "Sean Brierley" <sbri -at- haestad -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 14:58:48 -0400

At the companies for which I have worked, Easter Eggs of any kind have
been frowned upon. Now, I get a kick of them, like anyone would, and
nothing would give me bigger thrills than putting the developer's home
phone numbers and cell phone numbers in some secret, Easter-Egg location
in the online help (okay, lots of things would give me bigger thrills
;?), but here's the reasons I've been given in the past for company
action against Easter Eggs:

1) The code is untested and does not go through QA at all.
2) The code is not reviewed by the legal department for offense.
3) Code bloat. (Agreed, companies seem unconcerned about this in other
areas. ;?)
4) It is an inefficient use of resources.

I'm sure there are other reasons. Anyway, one of the things I would face
in putting names on a software doc would be anyone who was interviewed,
sent an e-mail about the book, caught a typo, or whatever, would want to
be put on as a contributing author/editor. Indeed, top spots would go to
people far higher up the food chain than any technical writer, and, in
turn, those folks would try harder to micromanage their project. Project
titles, like "Editor in Chief," and "Senior Copyeditor" would be handed
out as honorary titles and those in the trenches would feel more
slighted than had their names not appeared at all.

And, before you say it ain't so, Joe, buy me a beer at a conference and
I'll explain it to yah.




Sean Brierley
Software Documentation Specialist
Haestad Methods
203-805-0572 (voice)
203-597-1488 (fax)

-----Original Message-----
From: Doc [mailto:dlettvin -at- attbi -dot- com]

>I'm asking because an engineer on my team wants me to put his name down
>credit him for docs that he's worked on. These are all internal IT

I have never worked for a company that identified either writers or
developers in any public documents. But ...

I always sign my books whether the company knows it or not. That I've
been doing it for nearly 20 years is proof of my continuing

I also encourage any writer who works for me to embed an "easter egg"
in any work that is substantially a single writer project.

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