RE: ratio of tech writers to developers at your company?

Subject: RE: ratio of tech writers to developers at your company?
From: mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com
To: thj -at- tampabay -dot- rr -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 10:27:51 -0500

Tom Johnson hoped:

> We are gathering statistics about the ratio of technical
> writers to software
> developers. Could you please share any information you have
> on the number of
> tech writers your company has versus the number of
> developers? We'd also
> appreciate it if you could let us know your primary industry, such as
> financial, medical, etc.

Do most people actually know those numbers?
Obviously, for a small company at just one location, you can just stand up,
look over your cube wall and count heads... (well, maybe you short people
need to stand on the desk to see over...)

For a larger company, and/or one that has multiple offices/plants around the
world, how would you find out?

For example, there are about 35 people at our office (we design information
security hardware and software), of whom perhaps 20 are developers (plus a
couple of sales folk, some managers, a three-day-per-week HR bod, a customer
support guy, a Sales-Eng guy, a couple of testers, a hardware designer, an
arteeste/designer), and l'il ole me. But we are now part of a worldwide
company that's heading toward 2000 employees. Overall, I believe that there
were five tech writers out of 1000+ employees, but I don't know yet how many
writers belong to our latest acquisition. Nevertheless, if you just consider
the company as it was a few months ago, I don't have a good handle on how
many (worldwide) are actual developers). Some places are just sales offices,
some are regional with sales and admin, as well as development. Head office
has most of the IT people, most of HR, most of admin, most of the
executives, the QA department, the manufacturing prep and the production
departments, and so on... _and_ they've got a slew of developers, too.
Really hard to separate out the numbers. What's in it for me, again? :-)

Oh, and I document our local products plus a couple of stray products from
other branches (i.e., former separate companies that lost their own writer
when they got Borged).


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