Re: permalancer

Subject: Re: permalancer
From: "Pro TechWriter" <pro -dot- techwriter -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 13:59:44 -0600

Hear hear! I could not have said this better. And as a lone writer myself,
I completely agree.

-- "Someone who knows how to wack the pipe without having to read specs for
three weeks"

PT


On 1/28/08, McLauchlan, Kevin <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com> wrote:
>
> Ya go away for the weekend, and the conversation gets silly.
>
> OK, let's think of Tekwryter (and the other folks competent in tools and
> in basic research and writing) as the kid fresh out of tradeschool.
> Let's think of me (and many of you) as the plumber who has been in the
> biz for twenty years.
> Tekwryter and his basic-skills crew have most of the same basic skills
> that I do - I've just got more years of experience, especially in my
> industry.
> A competent hiring manager, looking to fill a position for a grunt in a
> multi-person techpubs department probably wants Tekwryter, cuz I cost
> more to fill that generic seat.
> A competent hiring manager, looking to fill a position for a lone
> writer, or the only writer at a busy development branch of his company,
> might prefer to hire me.
> Why? Back to that plumber thing.
> The plumbing goes wonky.
> You take out your best wrenches and tinker for a while, with no success.
> You give up and call the plumber.
> The plumber comes in, looks the situation over, plucks an old, well-used
> wrench from his toolbelt... and gives the pipe a solid whack! The
> plumbing starts working properly, and the plumber presents his bill for
> $300. He's been at your place for ten minutes... barely.
> "What??" you expostulate. "I could have done that. Where do you get off
> charging me three hundred bucks to whack one pipe?"
> The plumber scratches his chin and says... "Hang on, I'll write you up
> an itemized bill."
> A minute later, you are reading the newer, longer version of the bill.
> It says:
> - whacking pipe $50
> - knowing where to whack pipe $250
>
> Similarly, we've been hiring developers recently. None of them hit the
> ground running, though they're all smart, experienced people. They all
> spend couple of weeks reading specs, reading code and asking questions,
> before they dip their toes in their first real assignments.
> The occasional software architect that we hire takes considerably longer
> before he (there hasn't been a she applying for those positions) starts
> contributing at the level of the previous holder of that office. It's
> all code and hardware that works with the code, but there's a lot of
> knowledge that needs to be soaked up that is specific to our industry,
> and that is specific to how our company has been doing things. That's
> the "knowing where to whack" part. That's the non-modular,
> non-cookie-cutter part of the job.
>
> Hm.
> I think I've just said: If you're a good TW, seek out non-commodity
> employers.
>
> Kevin
>
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References:
RE: permalancer: From: Technical Writer
Re: permalancer: From: Ned Bedinger
RE: permalancer: From: Technical Writer
Re: permalancer: From: Ned Bedinger
RE: permalancer: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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