RE: Enchanted Development Organizations

Subject: RE: Enchanted Development Organizations
From: "Goldstein, Dan" <DGoldstein -at- DeusTech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 14:21:25 -0400

Hi Tony,

Sorry it hasn't worked out for you. At my last gig, I attended weekly
developer meetings (and was eventually asked to run the meetings). At my
current job, I attend meetings with developers, engineers, and scientists.
Since I am none of the above, I don't always understand all of the how and
why. However, I am expected to follow the proceedings sufficiently to tie in
issues of QA/QC, regulatory compliance, obsolete or superseded specs,
end-user interfaces, etc. I raise issues that would otherwise be forgotten,
I ask for decisions when questions are left unresolved, I listen as hard as
I can, and I take lots of notes.

I always thought that this was part of the tech writer's job -- isn't it? I
don't have time to dredge the archives just now, but I suspect that *many*
TECHWR-Lers have had similar experiences.


Dan Goldstein

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tony Markos
> Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 1:48 PM
> Subject: Enchanted Development Organizations Was: Re: Expectations too
> high?
> Question out of curiosity:
> If you are a Tech Writer who attends developer meetings, do
> you feel it is worth your time? As a Technical Writer, the
> primary thing that I need is a comprehensive integrated
> understanding of WHAT the software does for the end-user.
> However, it has always been my experience that such is never
> talked about at developer meetings. Instead, the
> conversation is inevitably a disjointed discussion on HOW the
> system works. Even though, most often, the requirements
> (i.e., the WHATs) are supposed to be the main topic.
> After attending developer meetings, I always have to try to
> abstract an integrated WHAT out of this disjointed HOW. This
> is not a productive exercise.
> I have dealt with such in numerous organizations. I have, in
> the main, worked with degreed developers from good schools,
> so I kind of find it hard to believe that there are some
> "special" companies who, somehow, have conquered this issue.
> But I may be wrong. Maybe there is a far away land where
> everyone is nice, open, honest, and logical.


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