Re: Job Futures-Who are We?

Subject: Re: Job Futures-Who are We?
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippinc -at- BEV -dot- ETN -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 11:03:03 EST

Lisa Baker wrote:

> I worked at IBM's Santa Teresa Lab a few years ago
> and their "writers" were called Information Developers and "developers"
> were called Program Developers.

For several years, while working at Lockheed, the tech pubs department was
under the engineering division. There were no "Technical Writers," there were
"Aircraft Service Manual Engineers." Wow, sure sounded impressive. Didn't get
much respect from the rest of the engineering division, though.

Where the respect came into play was the ability to solve engineering problems
on-site, while performing a kit trial (i.e., "beta test") on an airplane. "We
found the part didn't fit quite right because of an earlier mod, but if you
move the location of the screw hole over to hear it will be just fine."

Sometimes, though, an interesting job title can lead to confusion or problems.
My employee badge made it clear that I was in the engineering division. More
than once, I'd go out to an aircraft to check a procedure, and one of the
manufacturing types would approach me with paperwork that he needed to have
"stamped by an engineer." Typically, about two seconds after he'd get to me,
you'd see a hysterical foreman rushing over screaming "No, no, no, Rick's not
-that- type of engineer."

Although changing the job title helps, we also need to participate in the
development process, and provide solid input that comes through what we've
talked about in other threads: "History" and "Big Picture." It's the ability
to say "Don't forget that you'll have to deal with the pre-1976 airframes with
the gas turbine compressor instead of the auxillary power unit." That's when
the rest of the team starts to accept and respect your contribution.

(P.S. I wasn't being sexist in the above paragraph. I have no recollection of
any woman asking me to sign off a manufacturing document. Only the men.)

Rick Lippincott
Eaton Semiconductor
Beverly, MA
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com

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