tech writing culture in China (was: perquisites to set up a ... doc group

Subject: tech writing culture in China (was: perquisites to set up a ... doc group
From: "Monique Semp" <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TechWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 06:24:01 -0700

Dismayed I am not, I believe documentation will earn its deserved place here in China eventually.

That's good to hear! One of my current clients is a US company (well, really a giant world-wide company) with a very large R&D/Engineering team in Beijing. When I started a few months ago, I inherited a doc that was written by the Beijing Engineers and Product Managers.

Although it had the usual issues associated with docs written as a group effort by non-tech writers -- feature-based instead of task-based topics, "interesting" grammatical constructions, a difficult-to-tease out "organization" and structure, repetitive but inconsistent info, crazy manual Word formatting, etc. -- I was none-the-less impressed by the amount of real, useful information in the doc. And the entire team is constantly focused on "what can we do to support the end user?"

I do not know if the Engineers and PMs received any particular training (I'll ask around because I am curious) or simply tried to model their doc on the company's existing docs -- it's a very mature and very large Tech Comm department, but resources were limited and this was an experimental project/product for which I was originally expected to begin work literally 8 months before I actually did (for lots of reasons, both on their end and mine).

But in any case, this team certainly knows what tech writing is and couldn't wait for their project/product to be supported by the official Tech Comm team.

So it's important to remember that not "all" Chinese companies are oblivious to doc needs and tech writing -- It's a big country after all, with an amazing amount of entrepreneurial energy and a desire to fully engage in the modern business world.

And for more reading, check out these links:

* guest blog on Tom Johnson's site: http://idratherbewriting.com/2011/06/15/technical-writing-in-china/

* blog, Getting Started as a Technical Writer in China: http://rachellu.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/getting-started-as-a-technical-writer-in-china/

* LinkedIn group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Technical-Writer-in-China-3848816

-Monique



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References:
What are the perquisites to set up a company's documentation group from scratch: From: Simon
Re: What are the perquisites to set up a company's documentation group from scratch: From: Gene Kim-Eng
ååï What are the perquisites to set up a company's documentation group from scratch: From: Simon
ååï What are the perquisites to set up a company's documentation group from scratch: From: Peter Neilson
Re: ååï What are the perquisites to set up a company's documentation group from scratch: From: Ken Poshedly
ååï ååï What are the perquisites to set up a company's documentation group from scratch: From: Simon

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