RE: Tech writing vs QA

Subject: RE: Tech writing vs QA
From: "Manley Clifford (GFD1CEM)" <GFD1CEM -at- ups -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 13:33:40 -0400

>>Quote your customary rates for all of your time, irrespective of the
nature of the work.

This is how I do it. I have found that the job titles Tester, Business
Analyst, Functional Analyst, Requirements Engineer, Technical Writer and
other titles often mean we do essentially the same work. I therefore wear a
title appropriate to the client's need, and charge em all $65/hr regardless
of what they want done.

This does mean that you have to have a wider set of skills and experiences -
that you actually can do the role the employer understands the title to
represent - but after you float around IT environments for a while you find
that you become a pretty adept generalist.

After that you can wear many hats, but since the work is so similar a single
rate is a fair compensation no matter what hat you wear that day.

This, by the way, is kinda sorta what folks describe when they attempt to
nail down the phrase "knowledge worker".

Everyone's experience may vary - I see many companies who use entry-level
resources (paid in peanuts) for testers, but pay tech writers 20% more, and
have seen the reverse. The real deal is that most companies DO NOT KNOW what
they really need and you have to tell them.
In this market you have to make a case for value - show them why they'll
profit for paying you well to do whatever needs doing.

Good luck,

>Does anyone know how rates for tech writing compare to rates for doing
>QA? I'm looking at a project that will be about half creating
>docuentation and about half QA & testing and I'm wondering about how to
>charge for it.

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