RE: Interesting job description

Subject: RE: Interesting job description
From: <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
To: "'techwr-l'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2016 17:26:23 -0400

Those have always been my criteria for hiring technical writers. Engineering
talent is a constrained resource in every technology company and the rest of
the organization should be set up to optimize the use of that resource. The
less SME time a tech writer needs, the less impact they have on the critical
path of product development. (This is not only because engineers are scarce
and expensive, BTW, but also because there is an optimal size to an
engineering team beyond which adding new bodies does not increase

This is also the basis on which tech writers can negotiate for higher pay.
If you can go to the company and say, "I can produce the requisite
documentation with less impact on the critical path than the next guy," that
is a value proposition that any project manager can understand. Time to
market is everything in a modern technology company.

This is also something I have emphasized with I was on the other side of the
interview process. I pride myself on my ability to minimize my impact on the
engineering staff, both by knowing my stuff, and by deliberately optimizing
the times I do need to consult them.

It surprises me somewhat that more tech writers do not understand this as a
fundamental part of their value proposition.


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Keith Hood
Sent: Friday, October 7, 2016 3:20 PM
To: techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Interesting job description

Here's a topic for discussion: A while back, I saw a description for a
technical writer opening. It included one line that I found most highly
interesting. Along with the usual stuff about required skills and duties,
there was this:

"Must operate independently on tight schedules without placing excess
demands on subject matter experts"

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Interesting job description: From: Keith Hood

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