Re: Why? Here's Why!

Subject: Re: Why? Here's Why!
From: "Diane Evans" <diane_evans -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 03 Apr 2003 21:09:54 -0800

Sera asks, "Is there some mythical company out there who actually values technical writers?"

Yes, the biotech firm I work for values technical writers. I have been nagging people for the last several months about the necessity for a complete set of software development life cycle documentation. How can we test something if we don't know what the users wanted?

The practice has been somewhat slow to catch on, but this week it suddenly came to the forefront. Not only was a piece of software almose released with some serious flaws (which became clearly visible when the calculations were documented), but it came to a grinding halt when one of the requirements wasn't identified up-front. It's the old one-minute-of-requirements-equals-two-hundred-minutes-of-development-correction story.

Suddenly, three different groups are coming to me and asking how to get their systems documented!

For the record, all systems that we build are used in-house by a handful of people. At least we aren't making a million copies of flawed software and selling them on the open market like some large software company in our area (Seattle) has been known to do!

Diane Evans
Technical Writer

Washington State Coordinator, Tombstone Project

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