Re: How to make developers think you're one of them, Tip #382

Subject: Re: How to make developers think you're one of them, Tip #382
From: "Mike O." <obie1121 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 13:20:12 -0700 (PDT)


Bruce Byfield wrote:

> the writer/trainer is rooming with the CEO...

Location, location, location.

Hey, if your office-mate is feeling talkative one day, maybe you could
ask him why their sysadmin has "never met a technical writer who
understood technical work flow." How come they never hired the ones
that DO understand?

Mike O.








How to make developers think you're one of them, Tip #382
Subject: How to make developers think you're one of them, Tip #382
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 20:43:21 -0700



I've just finished the second day of my first on-site contract in over
a year. Is it a sign of the times, that the writer/trainer is rooming
with the CEO - or a sign of a company with crowded offices? ;->

Part my work is forensic: digging through what the previous writer left

behind and trying to make some sense of it so that I can evaluate the
current documentation and training needs. Another part is to put these
areas on a solid footing. This afternoon, I e-mailed the sysadmin lead
about the possibility of setting up a CVS tree for documentation.
Within
minutes, he was in my office, discussing setup. "I've never met a
technical writer who understood technical work flow, " he said. The
previous writer, he said, had refused all suggestions to set up any
sort
of versioning arrangement,and spent so much time downloading
informational articles about how to use Acrobat and FrameMaker that the

last version of the company product shipped without documentation.

Being the modest sort that everyone on the list knows me for, I pawed
the ground bashfully, blushed manfully, tugged my forelock shyly, and
said, "Shucks, t'aint nothin'."

But I can't help reflecting that if such a little thing as versioning
control can win over a developer, the expectations for technical
writers' knowledge must be painfully low.

--
Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177
http://members.axion.net/~bbyfield

"I have never yet known a man admit that he was either rich or asleep:
perhaps the poor and the wakeful man have some great moral advantage."
- Patrick O'Brian, "Master and Commander"



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