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My experience is in software, which might be different from hardware, but I
always want to know:
- How early and in what way are writers involved in development? Do
writers participate in functional and design reviews? Do we have input
into the user interface? Are we part of the team, or do we come in later,
take what they've built, and document it?
- Can I use the product? As much as I want?
- What processes do both the dev and doc teams follow? (If they say
"agile" there are more questions.) How is doc reviewed and by whom?
- (How) do we make doc improvements that aren't directly tied to new
features or bugs? (For example: larger reorganizations, improving
indexing, adding runnable examples, tools improvements.)
- (How) do you use source control for documentation?
That's off the top of my head, without digging out my notes from my last
round of interviews.
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