Re: Economist magazine points to decline of tech writing

Subject: Re: Economist magazine points to decline of tech writing
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- nuot -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 4 Jan 2015 15:23:42 +0000 (UTC)

"Computerization" won't lead to losses in the tech writing job market - business decisions will. Tech writers are always among the first to go when a company feeling the pinch has to cut head count, because we are seen as not adding value to the products and not contributing to sales. That's why so many companies have replaced help systems with user forums, which to an inexperienced user are about as helpful as giving a blind man a color-coded chart.


On Saturday, January 3, 2015 4:30 AM, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:


New technology invariably reduces or eliminates some existing jobs while
creating new ones. If we look at the various jobs that used to be part of
the documentation process - writers, editors, illustrators, page layout and
manual printing and other peripheral workers, are there more or fewer hands
involved per page of document today than there used to be?
My guess, comparing things today to 20-30 years ago is that the higher
number of writers is exceeded by the fewer number of all the other people
who used to do the things our DTP and CMS technology now do.

Will increasingly powerful AIs lead to smaller numbers of writers needed to
collect, analyze, organize and convert raw data into usable documentation?
Most likely. Will new jobs be created to develop and direct the new AIs?
Most likely. Will the number of new jobs created be greater or fewer than
the number of jobs eliminated? My guess is it will be fewer on a per page
or per document basis, but if the result is that more product is produced,
there may not be a decline in the total number of jobs.

The real question today's tech writers need to address is whether they will
be prepared to move into the new jobs.

Gene Kim-Egg



On Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 11:47 PM, Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- nuot -dot- com> wrote:

> If tech writer job eliminations started over a decade ago, why does the
> number of tech writers continue to rise? Has the computerization of
> technical documentation stalled?
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