Re: Happy to be a Tech Writer?

Subject: Re: Happy to be a Tech Writer?
From: Troy Klukewich <tklukewich -at- sbcglobal -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 09:18:05 -0700 (PDT)

Most days, technical writing is a never-ending stream of continuous bliss with violin music wafting in on soothing, gentle breezes. Then I wake up and go to work.

Seriously, I have a love/hate relationship with technical writing myself.

I take great pride in architecting effective solutions that meet real customer needs. Some of the developers I've worked with are genuinely inspired people and some of the products I've worked on are very cool. I'm also excited about our technical writing industry and it's evolution to increasingly sophisticated documentation systems involving XML and CMS. With increased globalization and product complexity, content is getting increased attention from many companies as something important and worth investing in.

Depending on the organization, the pay and benefits can be great. I've also found even in poorly run organizations that writers (usually) don't have to put in as many manic hours as developers to get a product out the door. (Then again, we don't get paid as much most of the time either.) Also, our fellow tech writers can often be a lot of fun to work with. I've noticed that a great sense of humor and a cracking wit often goes with the job.

On the other hand, I've spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get documentation the attention it deserves within some organizations, to appreciate its role in product development and customer satisfaction. I sometimes feel like a voice in the wilderness. We rarely get the accolades and the resources we deserve. And we are often treated as a fifth wheel or worse in some organizations with an artificial "class" system enshrined to make developers feel more important at the expense of other groups (usually documentation and QA).

Fortunately, customers are more than willing to complain if the documentation is not up to standards, so companies ignore documentation at their own peril. It's good to have customers on our side.

All things considered, there are more ups than downs in technical writing and it is one of the top, growing professions.

Hey, I hear violin music wafting in on the breeze . . ..

Troy Klukewich
Senior Manager & Documentation Architect
Documentation & Documentation Services

----- Original Message ----
From: "Cardimon,Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com; Chris Kearney <cak6631 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Sent: Monday, April 2, 2007 6:12:28 AM
Subject: Happy to be a Tech Writer?

Chris Kearney asked in a post:

<<Sorry, I like my simple job of interviewing users and
sme's, taking shots, and writing in plain English (my
language of choice). Is anyone else out there
actually happy to be a Tech Writer?>>

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