Re: Job function question

Subject: Re: Job function question
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2007 21:59:08 +0900

Craig said:
> What about Documentation Specialist and Information Developer?
> How does one know if one qualifies?

I hadn't heard of Documentation Specialist before, but I actually ticked
it when renewing just then. It seems like not such a bad description for
what I'm doing in my current contract--maintaining a SharePoint site,
creating Word templates, reviewing or sprucing up internal procedures,
and doing hefty diagrams in Visio, but not all that much writing.

I did see a job ad recently for a _Document_ Specialist that was clearly
aimed at a sort of high-end filing clerk. This is probably the sort of
thing Dori warned about.

Information Developer is a term used at IBM. My guess is that they
wanted a broader term to cover staff who contribute to the development
of so-called "information products" but don't do much or any technical
writing. It's such a big place that they have people working full-time
on quite specialised TW-related jobs--not just the obvious ones such as
editing, illustration and indexing, but things like translation planning
and "web site consistency cop". I was lucky to be able to do a little
bit of everything, though not as much writing as I wanted. The
developers on my project drafted all the end-user docs (I used to call
myself the "technical rewriter").

Bill Swallow said:
> The cold hard fact is that these and many other titles are thrown
> around and used with no consistency across the profession...
> Until the problems with title usage is fixed or until the STC
> at least comes up with standards for such titles that it can at
> least define and communicate out, I wouldn't pay it any mind.
> Just check off whatever sounds good to you and leave it at that.
> As far as I know, that info isn't actually used anyway.

I hope they're at least storing the results. If they ever do try to come
up with a consistent set of job titles and descriptions, knowing what
titles are in use would be a head start.


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