RE: Technical Writing and Software Testing

Subject: RE: Technical Writing and Software Testing
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: kafkascampi <kafkascampi -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- m-s-g -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 20:19:14 -0500



> -----Original Message-----
> From: kafkascampi
>
> At my company, the entire engineering staff (including me, the one
> writer)
> does round 2 testing before a release of our SaaS application. I'm also
> part of the design process. And compliance documents, training videos,
> managing the translation, writing the help, writing the manuals,
> writing
> the wiki, uh....

You live a full life! :-)

> Maybe I should hire someone.

Yes. Seriously. If it's as full a plate as you make it sound
(and I don't doubt it), then you are likely already cutting
corners somewhere, in order to fit it all into the time
available.

It might not be obvious yet, but eventually, it will be,
and the time to hire help is before you get so far under
water that the eventual help is busy-busy from day one,
and you don't have the "luxury" of going back and fixing
things that you've had to let slide.

Probably you can't just decide to hire, but you could do
worse than to start building your case now, for the manager(s)
who will be making the decision.

However, make it explicit that:

a) you enjoy doing the testing and design consult stuff,
along with whatever your original job description said,
and it contributes to your job satisfaction to have that
variety, and

b) doing those other things helps you make the customer
docs and training docs better.

It gives you a more rounded view of the product, and it
gives you better rapport with the developers, testers,
support people, and other sources of info.

I don't do formal testing, but either I submit bug reports
or I ask embarrassing questions that highlight problems,
as part of my poking at the products to learn them and
document them.

I get some input into interface and design, but usually
only after I've seen the early versions and started
asking those questions, or otherwise advocating on
behalf of the eventual user.

We don't translate (yet).
We don't do videos.
I have some input into training material, but more
as an editor. In fact, sometimes I steal material
from the training guys...
No wiki, here.

My job's pretty good. Yours sounds quite excellent.
Good on ya, mate.

-k
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References:
Technical Writing and Software Testing: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: Technical Writing and Software Testing: From: Kat Kuvinka
Re: RE: Technical Writing and Software Testing: From: Dana Worley (MVP/JB)
RE: RE: Technical Writing and Software Testing: From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Technical Writing and Software Testing: From: Dana Worley (MVP/JB)
RE: Technical Writing and Software Testing: From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Technical Writing and Software Testing: From: kafkascampi

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