Re: Writer/Developer Ratios

Subject: Re: Writer/Developer Ratios
From: Gwen Gall <ggall -at- CA -dot- ORACLE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 1994 10:51:15 EDT

In-Reply-To: CNSEQ1:TECHWR-L -at- VM1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu's message of 05-31-94 11:48

Hi Karla (and others):

Currently I am fortunate enough to have only three developers (and me), but
we have plans for expansion....that is, they plan to hire more developers. (I
should point out, however, lest you think this undeserved luxury, that I also
write all the marketing stuff for two marketing guys, who _love_ to revise.)

At one of my recent jobs, there was a writing group of 5: Manager (who was
unnecessary and did no writing OR project planning, but sure looked important
in a meeting!), Editor (a technophobe with a Master's degree in English who
tended to edit all meaning out of our writing for the sake "good form"), and
three writers.

The company, since defunct, had 350 employees worldwide approx., and we had
about 90 plus product software developers and another 30 or so special projects

We had 21 manuals for the CORE product set (something I _won't_ get into at
this time!)

The software was made available to the writers about three weeks before
release date, on a _single_ SUN workstation, about a mile from our desks in
a "temperature controlled" computer room. We would take our turns at the SUN,
then scurry back to our desks, shedding our artic parkas as we ran, clutching
handwritten notes or ascii files (created painfully in vi), to enter into our
Macintoshes what we could remember about how the software worked...

Functional specifications and design documents, you enquire? I'll leave that
to your imagination...oh, and we were chastised when we "bothered" the

Fortunately, I was laid off after only five months, and am now quite happy!

(My little rave is over, and I feel much better, thank you. You never do
_quite_ get it out of your system, though, do you?)

Regards, Gwen

Gwen Gall
Technical Writer
Oracle MultiDimension
Oracle Canada

Reply to: ggall -at- ca -dot- oracle -dot- com


"The foreseeable future. A cliche, and a fuzzy one. How much of the
future is foreseeable? Ten minutes? Ten years? Any of it? By whom is it
foreseeable? Seers? Experts? Everybody?"
--Strunk and White, "The Elements of Style"


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