Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7

Subject: Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 23:57:10 -0400

Not harsh, but you misread.

The systems operation manual (software) was done by the software engineers and the tech writers had no part of it. It was the software engineers finding their issues 2 days before, not the TWs, because they would wait until the last week to insert the changes. The tech writers did the theory of operation manuals, the maintenance manuals, RPSTLs, training manuals, and a host of other manuals, averaging 1900 pages per delivery. They also had only limited hands on the equipment, even on that stuff, which annoyed the heck out of me, due to union rules, lab schedules, test schedules, development schedules, and so on. Documents were usually written from what could be found from engineering drawings, assembly drawings, manufacturing processes, customer reviews, requirements documents, and contract specifications. Whenever I was asked how accurate it was, I'd tell them only as much as you allowed me to be. We usually had 6 months on each delivery and weren't just formatting.

The formatting discussed previously was to bail the SE out in their 2 day panic in the one manual they claimed and had made a total outhouse of.





----- Original Message ----- From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>; <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 11:17 PM
Subject: RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7


William Sherman wrote:

In one particular case I am thinking of, several software engineers
wanted
to keep the systems operation manual up to date as they felt the tech
writers didn't understand the system software. Small wonder, when I got
there, we were not allowed to turn it on or run it. I never got to see
it in
operation from start up, operation, and shut down. I got to see bits
and
pieces at various times because I was constantly going into the lab,
but how
was I to ever know how it work?
<snip>
How they pulled some of this off, I still haven't figured out. The
"solution", as wrong as it seems, was to manually put in numbers so
that
they didn't connect to anything. You have to remember these things were
usually found 2 days before shipping, as the software engineers held
this
until the last possible day to include the latest and greatest code
changes,
and there was no time to fix it right.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but if the "tech writers" don't understand the software, don't get to run the software, don't see the software in operation, and merely fix the formatting of the manual 2 days before shipping, they're not tech writers. They're clerical help.

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-903-6372
------








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Follow-Ups:

References:
Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: William Sherman
Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: William Sherman
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Coe, David E
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Ben Davies
Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Phil Snow Leopard
Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: William Sherman
Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: William Sherman
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Combs, Richard

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