RE: Senior/junior level technical writing

Subject: RE: Senior/junior level technical writing
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 09:02:31 -0800 (PST)


John,

Yours are excellent "off the top" of your head descriptions of the various
differences among Technical Writers. It should be an experiential division, and I've
found it generally is.

Here, even though we have only two writers, we have job descriptions for four types
of TWs: Assistant Technical Writer, Technical Writer, Senior Technical Writer, and
Lead Technical Writer. The first three would correspond to your Junior,
Intermediate, and Senior positions.

The Lead TW job came about because they wanted to promote me. (It wasn't my fault,
honest! Okay, maybe it was my fault.) Anyway, I had to write the job description. It
was actually quite nice to write your own job description. I got to put in all the
fun stuff I wanted to do. The hard part was coming up with what to call the
position: SuperSenior TW (would you like to Super Size that?), Master TW (would we
need a Mistress TW to be equal opportunity?), Head TW (for a variety of reasons, I
didn't want to go there). So it ended up being Lead.

Frankly, I don't put a lot of stock in titles, but your thumb rules for delineating
what you expect of different levels of TWs sounds very reasonable to me.

Tom Murrell
Super Dooper Senior Lead Technical Writer (with a pickle on top)

--- John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com> wrote:
>
> and/or decision making powers you possess. I have not seen a guide outlining
> the requirements for junior, intermediate, and senior technical writers.
> Does one exist?
> -----------------------
>
> I don't know if one exists, but here's the criteria I use:
>
> Junior: Requires direct input on what to do at predetermined points and when
> it should be finished. Requires monitoring of the project on a regular basis
> for quality and progress. Requires coaching to adhere to style and
> specification requirements. Required to requests help on anything out of the
> ordinary.
>
> Intermediate: Requires occasional input on what do and when it should be
> finished Requires monitoring at predetermined intervals for quality and
> progress. Is presented at beginning of project with style guide and
> specification requirements, then expected to follow with no further input.
> Is able to address most issues out of the ordinary with brief guidance.
>
> Senior: Expectation is that deadline is met unless senior level writer
> initiates discussion. Requires almost no monitoring (maybe weekly management
> status report) Has direct input on style and specifications. Handles issues
> out of the ordinary based on past experience and training, then informs
> management.
>
> That's it off the top of my head.

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References:
RE: Senior/junior level technical writing: From: John Posada

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