Re: First days and weeks on the tech writing job

Subject: Re: First days and weeks on the tech writing job
From: Kate Schneider <kateschneider42 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Thorsten Konersmann <tk -at- documentation -dot- engineering>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2018 13:52:37 -0600

Hi Nina,

I gave a webinar on this topic a couple of years ago. This webinar is
Flare-specific (I was working at MadCap at the time) but the concepts in it
can be adapted to be tools-neutral.

https://www.madcapsoftware.com/webinars/your-secret-weapon-the-documentation-bible/

On Tue, Jun 26, 2018, 1:39 PM Thorsten Konersmann
<tk -at- documentation -dot- engineering> wrote:

> Hi Nina,
>
> Since I will get a new colleague in July for what has been a one-man
> project so far, I am thinking about this myself right now.
>
> Thinking back to my own start in this job, Iâd say there are mainly three
> aspects of the job that are specific to any company or project:
> The tools, specifically any non-standard plugins, customizations, etc.
> The companyâs/projectâs writing conventions and standardizations, that is,
> anything in an internal style guide, the terminology, etc.
> The people, internal and external, they will deal with on a regular basis
>
> Regarding 1., the new colleague might already bring previous experience
> with the tool you use. But they might have to get some training on the
> specific third-party plugins your company uses. Maybe they know FrameMaker,
> but havenât worked with DITA in FrameMaker before. Identify the delta.
>
> Regarding 2., ideally the new colleague is so experienced and capable that
> you just give them your 200-page style guide and they study it on their
> own. But maybe not all parts of your specific style guide are completely
> self explanatory. Most style guides donât contain absolutely everything.
> They should be able to work through some parts on their own. But other
> parts might be worthwhile to go over together.
>
> I am in the process of creating a mindmap about all of this for my new
> colleague. Itâs for me to collect everything relevant and for my new
> colleague as an overview, to work through, and to look up details later on.
>
> Best,
> Thorsten
>
>
> > On 26. Jun 2018, at 18:55, 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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References:
First days and weeks on the tech writing job: From: Nina Rogers
Re: First days and weeks on the tech writing job: From: Thorsten Konersmann

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