Re: Fear and Loathing at the Job Site

Subject: Re: Fear and Loathing at the Job Site
From: Gene Kim-Eng <gene -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 08 May 2003 07:43:50 -0700

Good question. When I first made the transition from engineer
to writer, subject matter expertise was critical, and the company
actually maintained a staff of nonexempts to do the formatting
and other document production because their writer/engineers
were supposed to be concentrating on content rather than
spending their time wrestling with buggy publishing software.
If anything, my shortcomings as a writer continue to be in the
areas of "font fondling" rather than technical knowledge.
Perhaps that's the thing that's kept me in contracts this year, that
because I'm not a DTP whiz I tend to create docs with *really*
simple templates that concentrate on the technical content. But
these days it's pretty rare for a company to tell its writers that
they shouldn't be wasting their time doing work that someone
can be hired to do at a third of their cost, most companies have
combined the work of both into one and devalued the combined
job description. I just ran across an ad for a "technical writer"
in Colorado that offered - believe it - an hourly rate of $5.50.

Gene Kim-Eng

At 01:29 PM 5/6/2003 -0700, Steven Brown wrote:

I think the link between subject matter expertise and
content/design is becoming stronger and more crucial
as we speak. Maybe that scares a lot of us, as it
requires that we choose an area of specialization,
which might restrict the pool of employers for whom we
might work. Or would it make us more valuable?


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Fear and Loathing at the Job Site: From: Bruce Byfield
Re: Fear and Loathing at the Job Site: From: Steven Brown

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