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While catching up on my mail after the holidays, I saw last
month's posting by John E. Brush requesting job descriptions
for writers and illustrators using computers. I hope this
isn't too late to be useful.
John, if you will e-mail me your street address, I'll send a
copy of the job descriptions from my last position. They're
long, and include a chart I'd rather not try to reproduce here.
I was a writer in the Corporate Communications department at a
40-person software company. The department included one
manager, two documentation writers, one marketing writer, and
The company wanted to rewrite all job descriptions, so I have
the old descriptions and the proposed new descriptions we wrote
for ourselves. The personnel manager and our entire department
except for our manager were laid off this summer, so the new
descriptions were never approved. Still, they'll provide you
with examples from a similarly sized group of documentors.
...has it become the responsibility of the individual
to not only be a good writer or illustrator, but to
also be a computer whiz?
Since I have a strong computer background, I became the "guru"
for deciphering computer matters for the other documentors. I
have acquired most of my knowledge about the software tools I
use by reading and experimenting. My reputation as a computer
whiz comes mostly from becoming familiar enough with the
manuals to know what the software is capable of and where to
find the instructions for performing particular tasks. Note
that you don't have to KNOW the answer, you just have to know
where to FIND the answer. That's why reference books exist.
In any job where you are creating something, the better you
know your tools, the easier it is to concentrate on what you
are creating rather than on the tools themselves. This
principle is as true for computer tools as it is for the
handy-dandy power gizmo you just got for the workshop or