Re: Paths to Seniority - from technical support to technical writing?

Subject: Re: Paths to Seniority - from technical support to technical writing?
From: "Damien Braniff" <Damien -dot- Braniff -at- asg -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 15:54:36 +0100

At the company I mentioned in my last post, TW was classed as part of
development and you sat next to the engineers/programmers. When you
started, every TW spent approx 2 weeks in tech support for a few very
good reasons:

1 They had all the kit (hardware and software) installed so you
could use it, take it apart, put it back together - generally play with

2 They were the ones who told customers - RTFM (where F =
Fantastic!!) and knew where everything was (and wasn't!) in the manuals.

3 You got some first hand experience of the end-users (once you
got familiar with the products) and the sort of problems they came

As a result of my time there we created a 10 page FAQ for one of the
simpler products that drastically cut support calls.

As to a move to TWing - we had no move to TWing but one of the tech
support guys moved into training and was involved in writing training
materials etc. Tech support need docs - FAQs, basic/common
configurations etc and I think it is possible that you can show that
need to management. If the docs are good they'll cut down on support
which will increase the bottom line - wonderful persuader. I'd also look
at Dori's suggestions about broadening your skills etc. At once place I
worked (bad times for TWing) I did QA at college two nights/year for two
years. It got me my next writing job - I was TWer and Quality
Coordinator responsible for generating their Quality manual as they went
for accredition.

Damien Braniff
Sr. Technical Writer
damienb -at- asg -dot- com

Waterfront Plaza
8, Lagan Bank Road
Belfast, N. Ireland BT1 3LR
Tel: +44 (0) 28.9072.3124
Fax: +44 (0) 28.9072.3324



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