RE: Fear and Loathing at the Job Site

Subject: RE: Fear and Loathing at the Job Site
From: France Baril <Barilf -at- ixiasoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 08:50:15 -0400

Sharon said: "Actually, in many industries, tech writers can kill people.
Bad evacuation
procedures, bad usage instructions on medical devices, poor consumer product
instructions, aviation P and Ps, these can all kill people.

My company rarely takes these projects on, simply because they scare me. We
typically do software, because it is much less likely we will kill someone.
I could not live with my self if we forgot something and someone died."

Sharon Burton-Hardin
CEO, Anthrobytes Consulting

I'm sorry to tell you that if you are willing to go that extra mile to see
how technical writers can indirectly kill people, the software industry is
not as innocent as it might seem. Software is used in planes, medical
devices and many consumer products. Moreover, if you look a it carefully,
you might kill people by forgetting to write something very important about
system stability (if that software is used in a 911 call center, for
example) and you might kill people by doing your job so well that the
software is used properly in the military or paramilitary industry, which
gives a nation the little extra to kill some more people (or save some more
depending on the situation).

No industry is perfect!

France Baril
Rédactrice Technique / Technical Writer
(514) 279-4942
france -dot- baril -at- ixiasoft -dot- com


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