RE: job market Q4 2009

Subject: RE: job market Q4 2009
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Dan <dangarza1 -at- comcast -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2009 14:58:39 -0500



Dan Garza asked:

> Do you guys think sitting between contracts kind of hurts
> your skills, since
> they are stagnating away until something else comes up.
> I with companies would train there doc staff when between
> projects or use
> them as analysts...
>


I don't understand your reference here. "Between projects"...
is that a spacial reference? It can't refer to time...
I can't recall the last time that I didn't have multiple
projects on the go, in various stages of ... various stages.

It's like that obscure, imaginary concept... what was the
word again... lemme think.... I'm sure I can recall if I
just let my mind wander into wild fantasy.... oh yeah!
"downtime"... that was the imaginary concept. Yeah. :-)

I'm at a company that employs several writers, but we've
never met, we live in different parts of the world, and
we work each on our own separate product line families.
So, effectively I'm a lone writer at my location, doing
the docs for multiple products within the "Hardware Security
Module" family, with always one or two major releases in
the works, along with all sorts of minor releases and
patches.

Plus, of course, "give it to Kevin" stuff like the PDF
editing of a Marketing document in the "Editing a PDF" thread,
reviews/edits of other people's internal and public-facing
documents, and so on.

I train myself on whatever tool-or-tools I happen to need
or be using at the time. Trying to stuff something in my
head about a tool I might want to claim on my resume some
day just doesn't enter the picture.

Just shows-t'-go-ya that the same occupation has lots of
different versions on the ground.

While I was typing the above, my boss came up and began to
feel me out about a major product revision that I'm currently
working on. It's been developed and addressed toward a
certain limited market for years and a big revision is
due at the beginning of January. But now there's a market
for basically the same product for a new market. It'll
have a new name, and some variant terminology, and
will have a few fewer features that don't happen to be
useful in the new market (so I'll condition them out), and will
eventually grow some features specific to the new market
that aren't needed by the old/current customers - I'll be
starting a new thread about that in a few minutes.

That's probably going to fill a "gap" where I would have
been working 100% on just one product release at a time,
for a few weeks, instead of two. :-)

I hope that didn't sound like moaning.
I like being busy, and I like a challenge.

I just don't like arbitrary, unnecessary frustration, which
is what I get when tools don't work properly and all those
close-together/overlapping deadlines are looming. Unlike the
"old days" there's no luxury of downtime between projects (or
the equivalent luxury of handing off to another team member -
I'm a team-of-one here) in which to take training or to dig into
tool behaviour and glitches and workarounds.



- Kevin


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Follow-Ups:

References:
job market Q4 2009: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: job market Q4 2009: From: quills
RE: job market Q4 2009: From: Dan

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