Re: First days and weeks on the tech writing job

Subject: Re: First days and weeks on the tech writing job
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2018 13:05:07 -0400

I think the most important thing is to get the new and naive writer to read the existing documentation and report the pieces that simply don't make any sense at all. Once the new writer has been there a few weeks, all the bad writing will seem quite sensible, and the opportunity to see through the Emperor's New Clothes to his dire nakedness will be lost.

On Tue, 26 Jun 2018 12:55:55 -0400, Nina Rogers <janina -dot- rogers -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

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
it.

Thanks in advance!

Nina
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Follow-Ups:

References:
First days and weeks on the tech writing job: From: Nina Rogers

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