Re: Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer ... OK, this makes for a good segue

Subject: Re: Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer ... OK, this makes for a good segue
From: Kathleen MacDowell <kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Helen OBoyle <hoboyle -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:43:51 -0500

â... â
in finding bugs in the product by
using it in a different way than Test did before it gets sent out to
customer sites, etc...

Yes, something QA failed at ...

I am so good at breaking things. Very proud of that :-) Engineers, not so
much, but then, must admit it wasn't always useful.



On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 5:09 PM, Helen OBoyle <hoboyle -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 6:39 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > We've recently had stories from William Sherman and Rick Lippincott about
> > times when it turned out tech writers were not just important, they were
> > critical to a company's successful completion of big-budget projects. I'm
> > sure there's more out there.
> >
>
> Microsoft employed an army of tech writers to create the Windows protocol
> documentation required for the EU and DOJ anti-trust settlements. The idea
> was both to stop fines *and* to get the government to accept that the
> company was committed to the openness required by the two settlement
> decrees, to reduce the government's interest in further close oversight.
>
> Companies tell you what's business critical by how they hire, what they
> pay, how much exec time is spent interacting with your project, what the
> bonuses look like when deadlines are met, and, sometimes, the level and
> number of lawyers involved in the project. In all of these ways, Microsoft
> indicated to our project that it was Pretty Darn Important in the scheme of
> things.
>
> Using less formal criteria, such as the company retaining a lawyer to
> represent you personally (not as an agent of Microsoft) in case you require
> it in the context of your work on the project, or a senior VP stopping the
> meeting to ask for your input any time you looked skeptical during the
> weekly status meeting, they communicated this as well.
>
> It was an exciting project, and I made friends on it who'll be friends for
> the rest of my life. I miss being on a "Whatever it takes to get this
> done, tell us. You've got it," writing project, but I am happy without the
> average 72 hour weeks and in July, 2006, a 390-hour month (with one
> 106-hour week).
>
> Most of my work since then has been less business-critical; I'd guess that
> execs know that the writers do useful things, but might not know exactly
> what our contributions are. However, if you ask the *project teams*,
> rather than company execs, they'll tell you that I am very useful in
> helping their work products appear more polished, in producing conceptual
> materials that (gee!) the trainers find to be very useful in explaining the
> organisation of areas of the product, in finding bugs in the product by
> using it in a different way than Test did before it gets sent out to
> customer sites, etc.
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Helen.
>
> On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 6:39 AM, Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > We've recently had stories from William Sherman and Rick Lippincott about
> > times when it turned out tech writers were not just important, they were
> > critical to a company's successful completion of big-budget projects. I'm
> > sure there's more out there. (I wish I had one.)
> >
> > Quantifying our day-to-day value add, though, that's hard.
> >
> > I've taken to telling the designers who give me compliments to please
> pass
> > them on to my boss. Thanks to corporate acquisitions and department
> > rearrangements, I now work for the man who manages the designers instead
> of
> > a consolidated technical communications department. It helps him learn
> what
> > I do for his people, but it certainly isn't something you can attach a
> > monetary value to.
> >
> > On Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 4:55 PM, Keith Hood <bus -dot- write -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> >
> > > <snip>
> > >
> > > What needs to happen is for someone to finally come up with a way to
> > PROVE
> > > that the tech writer's work adds value to the product. There has to be
> > some
> > > way to express it in numbers and show that the work really does bump up
> > the
> > > bottom line on the quarterly report. Until that happens, certifications
> > may
> > > be useful in grading applicants for hiring decisions, but they will be
> > > meaningless to retention.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > --
> > Lin Sims
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy
> and
> > content development | http://techwhirl.com
> >
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> >
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> >
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--
Kathleen MacDowell
kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com
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References:
Re: Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer ... OK, this makes for a good segue: From: Vincent
Re: Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer ... OK, this makes for a good segue: From: Keith Hood
Re: Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer ... OK, this makes for a good segue: From: Lin Sims
Re: Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer ... OK, this makes for a good segue: From: Helen OBoyle

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