Re: self-defense (was doc plans)

Subject: Re: self-defense (was doc plans)
From: Fred Wersan <wersan -at- ZEUS -dot- MA30 -dot- BULL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1993 10:58:55 EST

After Karen responded to my post I planned to let things slide, but subsequent
posters have decided to brand me with a number of adjectives that I don't care
for, hence this response.

I concluded my post with a statement that if my assumptions were incorrect
I apologized. Apparently this wasn't good enough for people.

Karen says she isn't looking for a job as a tech writer, just exploring the
requirements. Good enough. In that context it makes sense to ask what a doc
plan is. Had she been actively looking for a job I stand by my statment that
she wouldn't have done her homework at that point. Since she is exploring
she is doing the self education that I recommend. I still suggest looking at
some good books.

Janie Bergen had the folowing comments:

>I've just finished a master's degree in technical
>communication, I've been to the STC conference workshops, and I've read
>a lot of articles on the subject. We were NEVER taught documentation
>planning in school, and neither were the writers I talked with about
>document and project management.

NEVER is a big word. If this is the case, then I think the educational system
is missing something. Maybe it's not practical enough? Who knows. In the
program I attended we were introduced to doc plans.

>It would not be especially helpful to teach students "a plan" when the
>students might be going one hundred different directions as writers. Even
>planning for online documentation versus paper documentation will differ
>slightly. And, there is precious little information in print about how
>to plan projects, documentation or otherwise.

You're right to a point. You don't want to learn "a plan". Every company will
have their own way of doing things. You want to learn about the ingredients of
doc planning. That way you have some idea of what you will need to do on the
job. Will you need the help of others? Of course. Is the feedback you can get
on the net useful? Of course. Is it sufficient?

Look folks, I took a chance on my assumptions. I anticipated the possibility
that they might be wrong. If I blew it sorry, but there is no need for people
to get their feathers ruffled. I did not question the validity of a discussion
of doc plans or any other subject.

So far no one has responded to any of the issues I tried to raise, only to
their assumptions of my attitude. To my mind this is as unfair to me as any
unintended offense I may have given Karen. If you can't respond to a sincere
post without name calling, then please think twice before posting.

Fred Wersan
Bull HN Informations Systems
300 Concord Rd.
Billerica, Mass. 01821
f -dot- wersan -at- bull -dot- com

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