Re: First days and weeks on the tech writing job

Subject: Re: First days and weeks on the tech writing job
From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2018 11:22:00 -0700

Salesforce has a nice job listing format where they say what to expect
after X months / Y months / Z months. Might be useful to look at a few
of those.

On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 6:21 PM, Nina Rogers <janina -dot- rogers -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Thanks for all of the feedback, everyone! I've purposely pushed to hire a
> self-starter that I can turn loose, and we are interviewing people who are
> seasoned tech writers with 10-20 years of experience behind them. We need
> someone who can learn the software quickly and start writing. The current
> plan has the tech writer starting on their first article during Week 2, to
> be be completed and submitted for feedback by Week 4. The people who
> designed the plan are not tech writers, and their experience has been solely
> bringing on people who are just out of college for customer service roles,
> so the result is a plan that is all wrong. I'm going to present an alternate
> plan to them on Friday and will point out the reasons that the current one
> is a bad idea.
> The public and private feedback I'm receiving here is helping me to realize
> that my instincts are good and that I'm not crazy.
> Nina
> On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 8:40 PM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> wrote:
>> This is a junior person? I'd have to interview them before I would
>> have a clue how fast they could get up to speed.
>> I've always hired self-starters and turned them loose, but by
>> definition that's a senior person.
>> On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 9:55 AM, 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.
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First days and weeks on the tech writing job: From: Nina Rogers
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