RE: Business Analyst vs. Tech Writer

Subject: RE: Business Analyst vs. Tech Writer
From: "Reffelt, Sheila" <Sheila -dot- Reffelt -at- alcoa -dot- com>
To: "Lauren" <lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu>, <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 10:07:46 -0400

Hi Lauren.
To answer your question:

"Are there really technical
writing positions that do not require what you mention?"

I am one of those. I write instruction manuals for installation tooling
systems and
Product Bulletins for the same. I've been in my current position for 7
years, which
is classified Technical Writer, even though I also do all the graphics
for the manuals
and bulletins as well as a number of "side projects", none of which

> designing formal
> software systems analysis and design methodologies?

And please pardon me (I am new to this techwr-l world),
but what does HTH mean?

-----Original Message-----
From: Lauren [mailto:lt34 -at- csus -dot- edu]
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 2:19 PM
To: vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Business Analyst vs. Tech Writer

Hi Jim,

What's wrong with you? I was reading this post and thinking, wow half
these disciplines and the analyst issues sound like my resume. Then I
"Pop-Tart." Who sent this post? It's Poptard! Go away you freak! But

My resume has "Technical Writing" positions, although these are mostly
business analyst positions. Since I work short term, "hurry up and fix
contracts, I expect a higher rate than a full-time employee because I do
get benefits and I may or may not work a full year.

Now, these days, the rate is getting lower and the requirements are
higher. My last contract was for a friend and she commented about my
"That's almost as much as an employee." Well, duh. She only wanted
processes documented, but she got a lot of business analysis and

I had another contract with the State, where I was hired for one project
the manager for the group that was completing the project left. Then
manager reallocated my time to her FSR. FSR writers make a lot more
technical writers, but my rate didn't change and I didn't contest it
I wanted more FSR work on my resume. I don't know how to sell my
of writing skills, but I am getting good at being ripped off by
writing positions that require more than just technical writing.

> How often are tech writers responsible for driving the requirements
> gathering *and* documentation? How often are we tasked with
> designing formal
> software systems analysis and design methodologies? How often must we
> understand underlying business drivers and organization
> imperatives so that
> we ask the right questions to ensure the complete discovery of product
> features and requirements?

Okay, um, maybe I'm not a technical writer. Are there really technical
writing positions that do not require what you mention? Maybe all three
responsibilities at once would be excessive, but for each contract that
have had, I have had at least one of those responsibilities.

> I'm tempted to contact previous supervisors to see if I can
> add 'Analyst' to
> my job titles.

I've written a lot of resumes for myself and others. The job title that
put on your resume is not necessarily the job title that you were given
the job, it is more of an umbrella for the disciplines of the job that
want to highlight. You can also call yourself a Technical
Analyst If you complete an application for a full-time job, then you
to put the actual job title on the application. If you feel compelled
list your actual job title on your resume, then let the first bullet
be the actual work that you did.

Technical Writer, XYZ Company, etc.
* Business Analyst for process re-engineering project.
* Derived business rules from current methodologies to define new system
* Completed <whatever> documents in support of project.

Lauren, oh wait...



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RE: Business Analyst vs. Tech Writer: From: Lauren

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