Re: Happy to be a Tech Writer?

Subject: Re: Happy to be a Tech Writer?
From: "Mike Starr" <mikestarr-techwr-l -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 03:40:06 -0500

Nope, not saying that at all. Not talking at all about my current

However, I've worked with some products that (IMO) rival any of those in
complexity. And I've been fortunate enough to work with some amazing
development teams in those environments that had no formal QA or testing
process. And the reported incidence of bugs for those products hasn't been
much different from what I've seen of the major nationwide consumer products
with extensive testing/QA departments.

What I'm saying is the better the development staff, the fewer bugs. Is
working without a formal QA/testing process an ideal environment? Not at
all. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination advocating that kind of
development process but merely reporting on what I've observed when
management has chosen to forgo those niceties. I suspect the difference is
that many of the organizations I've worked with have had development teams
comprised mainly of senior-level programmers who've already made plenty of
mistakes and learned from them. Of course they're not immune to mistakes...
bugs do happen. But these folks are good and they're up there on the wire
without a net.

Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Website developer
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
Phone: (262) 694-1028 - Tollfree: (877) 892-1028 - Fax:(262) 697-6334
Email: mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - Web:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gordon McLean" <Gordon -dot- McLean -at- GrahamTechnology -dot- com>
To: "'Mike Starr'" <mikestarr-techwr-l -at- writestarr -dot- com>;
<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 3:02 AM
Subject: RE: Happy to be a Tech Writer?

> Yeah but how many bugs did they FIX before they shipped??
> And are you saying that your team of 3 developers and you are creating
> anything as complex as... Say.. Excel? PhotoShop, RoboHelp??
> And, of course, you know that any mention of "the number of.." anything
> leaves you open to that age old quote... You know, the one about lies, and
> damn lies?
> To pull this back into context, I've always found support forums an
> EXCELLENT source of knowledge and have tried to have them installed at
> previous companies. No-one knows your software as well as your users.
> Gordon
> -----Original Message-----
> Look at the support forums for Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia, etc. Now
> those
> organizations have extensive QA and testing teams, yet the number of bugs
> reported for their products is still appalling.


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RE: Happy to be a Tech Writer?: From: Gordon McLean

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