RE: On Office Politics and Being the New Kid

Subject: RE: On Office Politics and Being the New Kid
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "Lori Olcott" <lori_olcott -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 16:30:44 -0800


The personal notes thing still sounds goofy, but at least I know a bit
better what she was thinking (if that's what you would call it).

I'm very familiar with her form of "documentation." You can see it in
the documentation of nearly every open-source project out there. As you
have noticed, this is very good as a reminder for someone who already
knows how the systems operate. It is *not* sufficient for someone who is
just starting up.

You may need to point out to her that you understand the needs of
experienced users. By being more thorough and detailed, you're not
trying to speak down to them. You don't want to subvert her desire to
get people to learn on their own, but you do want to give them a
starting point in at least a few places.

She, like many experienced IT people (especially in the non-Windows
world) may feel that detailed documentation is for the "stupid" computer
neophytes that use XP. "Real" programmers, in her mind, probably use
"man" combined with lots of experimentation.

You, on the other hand, probably feel that more documentation is better.
I tend to agree, but I am pointing out that not all people will.

You should probably work together with her to define what documentation
is needed. You may want to come up with a small primer that helps new
people start off. Working together, she and you can define documentation
that meets both your goals.

Nobody is going to tell you what documentation to write. As a writer,
part of your job is to define that. You do have to listen to what people
say, but then you also have to use your skill, experience, and training
to define a plan that succeeds.

Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jmalin=tuvox -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Lori Olcott
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 2:55 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: On Office Politics and Being the New Kid

Hi Y'all -

Thanks to everyone for their insight and ideas. It helps greatly; if
nothing else, for the reassurance that I'm not on crack.


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