RE: Job Titles

Subject: RE: Job Titles
From: Martha J Davidson <editrix -at- nemasys -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 14:23:58 -0700

At 02:05 PM 8/17/2005, Ryan Minaker wrote:

How do you differentiate between Tech Writer I and Tech Writer II? I
would assume that the Senior Writer title would come with five years

I think of the different levels of Tech Writer as showing increasing
levels of responsibility and autonomy. I don't think "years of experience"
is nearly as useful a distinguishing factor as proven results over time.

For example, I consider an entry-level writer (with whatever job title)
one who reviews existing documents, adds new information about
product changes or additions, deciding in the process how to update
existing information and integrate new information into the existing
documentation structure. Along the way, this writer learns more
and more about the company's products and the underlying
field(s) of technology.

The next level of writer might design and produce an entire
new manual or set of help topics, with less intervention from
a manager, and less supervision required during the process.
For this writer, the manager might suggest the kinds of
documents required to accomplish the goal.

At the next level, the writer (again, with whatever title)
determines what documentation is needed to cover
a new product or set of features or changes to existing
products. This writer would write a doc plan, do the
recommended work, and request peer reviews as
each chunk of content was ready.

You could break this flow down into smaller pieces
and assign job titles at each stage along the continuum
from "needs lots of hand-holding from the doc manager"
to "functions as lead writer and might even be a working
manager at the same time."

I've worked with writers at each of these levels of
ability and responsibility. The main thing is to
know where you and your skills fit, and for your
manager to know the same thing, so that you can
work together effectively.

Martha Jane {Kolman | Davidson}
Dances With Words
editrix -at- nemasys -dot- com

"Too many words bring about exhaustion."
--Tao Te Ching, Chapter 5 (translated by Sheets/Tovey)


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RE: Job Titles: From: Ryan Minaker

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