Consumer products RE: Value of basic computer science qualification?

Subject: Consumer products RE: Value of basic computer science qualification?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Joey P" <joeyp2008 -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 11:26:09 -0400

Joey P said:
> I'm currently mostly documenting consumer hardware, with occasional
> of software.

I've long thought that I'd like to document consumer hardware... and
maybe software, but preferably just the software that's part of / comes
with the hardware. What I _do_ document is hardware and software
(including SDK stuff) that is directed at engineers and other technical
folk, using our products in server rooms and secure technical areas -
nothing that your average person would ever put their fingers on.

Might one ask what sorts of products you document? Is it for one
company or do you freelance or contract within an industry?

Do you find that you have to live near the employer?

My impression is that consumer stuff often tends to have illustrations.
Are those created for you, on a timely basis, or do you find yourself
(like me) creating your own.

For me, our release scheduling ensures that the marketing and creative
folk are scheduled to do their thing only after my
photo-and-illustration needs have come and gone.

Do you report to technical people (Engineering or QA), or to Marketing
I find that my ability to get stuff technically accurate and complete is
enhanced by the fact that I'm part of Engineering, but I sometimes get
complaints/wishes after-the-fact regarding how features and products are
portrayed (the slant or the emphasis)... from product manglement and
marketing folk who didn't have time to review and comment on my stuff
when I was working to the Engineering and QA release timelines...

What are your project turnaround times like?
Do you do a lot of incremental revising of earlier documents to account
for relatively slight changes due to new models, or is there a lot of
fresh-start research and writing to do?

Another of my impressions is that the vast bulk of consumer-oriented
hardware is built in the orient. What's the most common way for such
stuff to get its English documentation? Is it written by
English-speaking writers in the place where it will sell - USA, Canada,
Britain, Australia - or is it written in the language of the
manufacturer (Chinese, Korean, any of several Malaysian or Indonesian
languages, etc.) and translated into English and European languages?

Do you do your own translation co-ordination, or does the company have
people for that?

I'm interested in your side of the fence, but don't know a lot about it.
Probably that nice shade of green that I see in your grass, over there,
looks less impressive up-close than does the luxurious lawn on which I
recline... as seen from your yard. Still...... :-)

- Kevin
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Value of basic computer science qualification?: From: Joey P
Re: Value of basic computer science qualification?: From: Janet Swisher
Re: Value of basic computer science qualification?: From: Joey P

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