First days and weeks on the tech writing job

Subject: First days and weeks on the tech writing job
From: Nina Rogers <janina -dot- rogers -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:55:55 -0400

Hello! We are hiring a technical writer, and my company is working on their
"onboarding" schedule. (This is the first time they have hired someone in a
tech-writing capacity. I was hired for another position and morphed my way
to tech writer.)

I was not included in the planning sessions for onboarding (yes, I'm kind
of bitter about that) and have been asked to review the onboarding
schedule, now that it's been written. I have some suggestions to change it
(oh, do I have suggestions), but I'd like to ask the folks here first: If
you are a tech writer with a company (i.e., not an independent contractor),
what were your first few days and weeks on the job like? Did you spend a
few weeks gaining knowledge of the software (or whatever you were writing
about) before you were let loose to start writing articles, or did you
pretty much dive in and learn as you go? How much oversight did you get
from a manager/supervisor before you stopped needing close oversight?

I'm particularly hearing from people who have hired/onboarded junior
technical writers. Like I said, I have lots of opinions about how the
onboarding process should be changed, but I also don't want to offer "just
my opinion." If any of you (particularly documentation managers) can offer
some insights to help me see if I'm on (or off) track, I would appreciate

Thanks in advance!

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