Coming from the Other Side

Subject: Coming from the Other Side
From: Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH1 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 08:35:34 MST

> Chuck Blessing wrote--
> I've just recently come over from the other side (systems
> analyst/programmer for ten years) and I am currently working on a user
> guide for a software system my company is developing.


I envy you for having made the move from the "other side." I am
presently a computer specialist (programmer/analyst) with a tech
writer/copy editor inside me screaming to get out! Because I
work for the Army, it is not easy to just "make the switch."
Plus, there are grade and pay scales to deal with. The hard
truth is that tech writers/editors don't average the same pay
grade as a computer specialist. So, in that respect, making the
switch would be scary. (BTW, I'm not *in* the Army; I'm a
civilian employee.)

As it is, I finagle all the assignments I can where I am
responsible for documentation. For instance, when the development
team I'm on now was forming, they needed somebody to "do
documentation" so I quickly volunteered. Primarily I'm
responsible for the software users guides. I've also participated
on several special committees where I usually volunteer to take
care of the documentation QA in addition to my regular
contribution. These actions have fostered an excellent reputation
for me in my organization to the point of people in other divisions
asking me to review stuff for them.

Tell me, how did you do it?

(Is there anyone else on the list who has made a similar career

Beverly Parks
bparks -at- huachuca-emh1 -dot- army -dot- mil

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