RE: Happy to be a Tech Writer?

Subject: RE: Happy to be a Tech Writer?
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2007 12:17:18 -0400

Mike Starr observed:

> Ah, what a wonderful validation. We tech writers often acquire a
> serendipitous overview of things that nobody else in the organization
> quite
> gets. We stick our noses in places where we're not invited because we have
> a
> need to understand things across multiple disciplines. How fortunate you
> are
> to have a boss who not only groks that but strives to use it to your
> organization's advantage.

I find it fascinating that a number of you seem to work in companies where
the writer knows more about the overall product than the Eng-Test and QA and
integration support people.

I can understand situations where individual developers might have a strong
grasp of only their specific pieces, and only a dim grasp of the overall
final product, but testers need to know it end-to-end, and to test it as
"real" people will use it (in addition to running benchmarks, stress-tests,

Also, when we had a live-in integration specialist, he really, really knew
the ins and outs of our products as well as the ins and outs of any number
of third-party applications that are used with our products.

I know a lot about our products, but the testers have both equal breadth and
greater depth of understanding.

True, I sometimes learn about a new use for our prods before the testers do,
because I might have more frequent contact with Sales Eng and with Customer
Support. But just as often, the testers will surprise me with something I
hadn't considered. "You're kidding! Somebody actually _does_ that??"

Then, they have to test the crap out of the product, twelve ways from
Sunday, which is more picky and detailed than I might get.


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