RE: AW: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?

Subject: RE: AW: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 14:39:11 -0400

Chris Despopoulos suggested:

> Design docs are usually measured by meeting predictable
> deadlines. They're considered a part of project management,
> and so are measured by that standard. But here's one of my
> soap boxes... Tech writers can and should provide more value
> than merely producing pages of user documentation.
> Organizing and clarifying the design process is a
> whopping-huge opportunity for adding value. It resists
> outsourcing, and it gets the writer directly involved at the
> very start of the project. And it fits well with Agile.

The participation, including writing some of the design
docs is good. It takes a chunk of time, though. And that's
time that a lone writer doesn't necessarily have when
doing the customer-facing docs for multiple products.

> On your resume you would say something like, "I managed and
> maintained the design documents (ooo... maybe even designed
> them?) for the X project. Our team met every milestone on or
> before deadline. Our product generated X revenue."

Hmm. I would be the writer member of several teams doing
that, while also doing all the customer docs, both new
and updates, all at different stages, all sliding due
to shifting conditions. Those are the kinds of activities
that don't have any natural multi-week gaps in them. No
times when you can simply not be there participating for
two or three weeks. After all the years it took to get to my
current number of vacation weeks I hafta chuck 'em?


Also, you can "design the design documents" when you
work for a start-up or very small company.
When you work in an established company or a
large one, they have standard docs that must
be created/updated the same way every time.

Sometimes there are automated processes that
strip whole sections from one document to
populate a succeeding document. The review
process is entrenched and needs docs from all
projects and all divisions of the company to
follow the format and content rules that allow
very structured on-line review-and-approval
processes to flow smoothly.

Don't think of me as being a nay-sayer here.
Just pointing out some alternate universes that
other people deal with, where the rules are not
quite the same. They still permit the existence
of life, just not "life as you know it." :-)

By the way, in the spirit of "different universe",
around here "Agile" refers to a component in an Oracle
ERP system (for us it <thank gawd, finally> replaces
Product Center). Has nothing at all to do with
Agile programming methodology.

- Kevin

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Re: AW: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?: From: Chris Despopoulos

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