Re: Technical Writer or Documentation Writer?

Subject: Re: Technical Writer or Documentation Writer?
From: <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>, "Gordon McLean" <Gordon -dot- McLean -at- GrahamTechnology -dot- com>, "Will Husa" <will -dot- husa -at- 4techwriter -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2007 10:09:58 -0500

For the curious who are actually in software development, or have some
knowledge of the field, I tell them I ask questions like this one:

"Do you want me to document (1) how it actually works now, (2) how you
said it was supposed to work, (3) what the requirements specifications
suggest, (4) what the implementation specifications suggest, (5) what the
comments in the source code indicate was the intent of the coder, or (6)
the way that I think it really should work?"

It's mostly a joke, of course, but right now I've got (A) no specifications,
(B) an indication from two developers of two different ways it s'posed to
be, and (C) a sneaking suspicion from the boss that the particular aspect
should remain undocumented and be resolved by field support. [Details
obscured to protect the guilty.]

--Peter Neilson

Craig said:
> Everyone knows what a salesperson does. Everyone knows what a database
> developer does. Try that with technical writer, or worse yet, technical
> communicator.
> People on whom I tried the "technical communicator" bit said, oh you
> mean "technical writer."
> I don't know anymore. I document steps, processes, and procedures of a
> technical nature. How computer applications work. I translate HR-ese,
> and marketing-ese, and technical-ese in plain English.


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