RE: TW and QA

Subject: RE: TW and QA
From: mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 15:03:26 -0400

CB Casper offered the only informative answer that
addressed my question and didn't try to revive
the old "technuckle versus non-technuckle TW"
harangue.... thanks. :-)

> I spent 20 years in the Aerospace world as the
> person most familiar to this group of TW'ers, the
> Manufacturing Engineer.
> The Manufacturing Engineer takes the engineering
> drawings and determines how to sequence the assembly
> of the components, as well as determine the manufacturing
> steps to take raw stock and fabricate it into the desired
> engineered product. Depending on the scale, these could
> be separate people, or departments.

Lots more good stuff snipped, but you answer my
question about whether there was a role for a
Technical Writer on such massive one-off projects.
The answer appears to be "no".

There appears to have BEEN no technical writer to
blame for having dared to be non-technical and
thereby having screwed up the whole multi-hundred-million
dollar project. It was engineers producing specs
and other engineers interpreting them, and possibly
engineers and technicians doing the actual assembly,
but no actual techwriter was consumed during the
process. (Therefore, it is a lo-o-o-ong stretch to
blame one for not being sufficiently technical, when
s/he didn't actually exist... unless I misinterpreted
somebody else's post, who in turn misread my post, earlier...?)

Thus, such projects would seem to differ from
projects/products like aircraft, trains, Palm Pilots...
that are all going to be:

a) assembled/manufactured in quantity over an
extended period of repetitious procedure, by
persons with less education/understanding than
those who actually designed the thing (whatever
thing it was)

b) sold in quantity and then:
i) used by people who need to be taught to use
them (by manuals, help, etc.)
ii) maintained by people who need to be taught to
maintain them (by manuals, help, etc.).

Thanks for clarifying, and for taking the unnamed
(and non-existent) miserable-failure-of-a techwriter
off the hook. :-)

Kevin (who never built a spaceship nor wrote how to)


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