TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
I have never been asked to document software I can't see. I
always get access to the software in the development environment where I
can see the progress and can begin to learn how to use it.
It seems quite impossible to document software you can't see.
It's not impossible, but nigh to. And it happens more than you think.
Often you just get the specs on what it's *supposed* to do (and we all
know how often the specs and the final product match 100%).
Usually the best one can do is request (or demand) access to all
development docs and to the developers, and a WRITTEN date of when you
can actually get your hands on the product to validate what you've
written. And then, IN WRITING, specify that your delivery dates are
contingent on when they provide you information and access.
And if they won't give you any of that, I'd respectfully decline the job
if at all possible. We might be good at writing, but we're not
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