Re: Job Futures for Tech Writing -Reply

Subject: Re: Job Futures for Tech Writing -Reply
From: "Bonni J. Graham" <bgraham -at- ELECTRICITI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 16:56:46 PST

Doug Engstrom asks:

"I think contractors would have a disadvantage over a permanent writer in
performing the work. Any thoughts?"

Yes: not necessarily.

It depends on the kind of contracotr. If you're talking about hiring a
DIFFERENT contractor EVERY time you need some writing, then yes, you're
going to lose a lot. However, and fortunately for my business, that
doesn't seem to be how the system works. Many companies hire (GASP) the
SAME contractor over and over again, because they have periodic work. If
you only revise the product once a year, say, you may not need a full-time
writer on staff -- you wouldn't have enough to keep them busy. Your
developers are needed for bug fixing (which may not ever affect what needs
to be documented) and such for the whole year. New development (the kind
where writers need to be there) may only happen once in a while.

I don't forget a company's history between times that I work for them. I
also keep detailed notes on things, just like I would if I worked there. I
go to meetings, and participate in on-line discussions, JUST AS THOUGH I
WORKED THERE. The only difference is that the comapny pays me only for the
amount of time I spend working on their contract.

Yes there are times when only a full-time permanent person will do -- but I
disagree that those times can be drawn along the lines that Doug is
suggesting. I think it's more individual than that.
Bonni Graham
Manual Labour
Director, Region 8 Conference
bgraham -at- electriciti -dot- com

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