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Ned Bedinger wrote:
<quote>You've made generalizations without providing the specifics to explain what routine things you're talking about. As it stands, I don't agree with your characterization of tech writing as routine work requiring no experience, The specifics supporting your argument might clarify the situation you're reacting against. Thanks Ned Bedingerdoc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com -dot- </quote>
Sweeping generalizations are best left to building maintenance crews. I never implied that TW is "routine work requiring no experience." Quite the opposite; I suggested a competent, skilled technical writer should be able to take over the position of another technical writer with little or no "experience" required in that specific job, at that specific place of employment.
The notion that TWs (or programmers) have arcane skill sets so specific to the particular job at hand that they are unreplaceable is misguided. If that situation exists, it is a deficiency in managerial competence; the manager(s) turned over responsibility for task completion to the employees.
Consider contract TWs (contractors, not temps that call themselves contractors because it sounds more important); it is assumed that "productivity" starts at day one, not after endless schmooze sessions, "assimilation into the corporate culture," divining "the way we do things around here," etc. A skilled, competent TW should be able to switch places with another skilled, competent TW and be productive from the start.
If not, it is a failure of management to competently define and organize the tasks--the TW equivalent of breaking a software application into objects, classes, and functions that can be independently created by programmers in various locations, then assembled seamlessly by the senior developer(s) into a finished product.
The difference is in how well organized the projects are, and how well the projects are managed. In competently managed projects, there are no prima donnas, and no one is "unreplaceable."
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