RE: Technical writing in the development process
I think, though, that to be part of the collaboration, we have to
establish our credibility. We have to show that our opinions about the
process and the result are based on solid facts and experience. In other
words, we have to be either "engineers" or "marketeers" or both.
You are absolutely right that you have to be a good marketer. The only way to convince those in charge of the development process that the technical writer does make a product more valuable is to tie it to the profit stream.
Mitsubishi only hired document designers to write their manuals when they finally realized that they could not reach their non-techie market without better manuals.
I keep dreaming about the day when what technical writers do could begin to be recognized for its inherent value. Be recognized as a valuable contribution to the development process without having to show a dollar-and-cents reason for it. This is the old art versus craft argument.
As physicists find that there is more and more reality out there that can't be measured in terms we are familiar with, it seems to me that the knee-jerk reaction for checklists should be diminishing. Is there anyone in this field of technical writing who has observed some signs that there might be such a shift is in the future?
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RE: Technical writing in the development process: From: Joe Malin
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