RE: What *is* a documentation specialist?

Subject: RE: What *is* a documentation specialist?
From: Paul Hanson <phanson -at- Quintrex -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 10:06:44 -0600

At job #1, I was officially a "Documentation Specialist." However, I wrote help text, training manuals, and a reports manual. There were three in my dept and all of us, including my mentor, were called a "Doc Specialist". I think it really depends upon the company's definition. I was a "Quality Assurance Specialist" when I started here in October 1998. As I became more focused on writing, I started calling myself "Technical Writer" and did it long enough that that's what I'm considered. It even says so on my business cards <grin>.

I think the duties of the position are more important than the title.

I prefer Mountain Dew Live Wire - the orange stuff - to coffee.

Paul Hanson
Technical Writer
Quintrex Data Systems
email: phanson at

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Neilson
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 9:53 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: What *is* a documentation specialist?

I found an ad on line for a "tech writer / documentation specialist" and
the job description seems to say that the writer will get stuck doing
all the clerical tasks, including arranging everyone else's stuff in
file cabinets.

That job is called "file clerk" where I come from, and is generally
entry level. The skills of creativity and investigation that are
required for being a tech writer would, I imagine, be a great hazard in
the person of a file clerk.

Should I bone up on coffee-making (I don't drink the stuff), make sure I
remember the order of the alphabet, and tell them $11.42 per hour is
just fine? (No, I don't know what they want to pay. It can't be much.)
If I were to file by second letter of the primary name, instead of the
first letter, then I would become totally indispensible and I could
demand a raise to $16.42. I'd never have any time to do their tech
writing, though.


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What *is* a documentation specialist?: From: Peter Neilson

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