Re: Technical Writers per Developer

Subject: Re: Technical Writers per Developer
From: Sue Heim <SUE -at- RIS -dot- RISINC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 1995 09:01:34 PST

Don Child replies to Chris' question regarding the ratio of writers
to developers with:

> Here at DataHouse, I am sometimes the only technical writer for 50 to 60
> developers, who may be jointly working on as many as 20 projects at a time. I
> have been aided at times by as many as 2 other writers. My duties also include
> newsletters, PR, white papers, presentations, training, graphics, developing
> Web home pages in HTML, etc. I get the feeling there is a sizeable community
of
> tech writers and trainers who have to wear several hats. Note that DataHouse
is

<snip>

> I'd be curious to know how many other technical writers have to spread
> themselves thin. I would guess there are regional differences, and differences
> depending on industry.

Here at RIS, I'm the only (lonely) writer for a group of seven
programmers/developers. In addition to writing and maintaining all
user documentation for two products that operate on three platforms
(yes, that's a total of six!), I write all marketing collateral
materials (brochures and the like), ads, our quarterly newsletter,
monthly maintenance notes, presentation materials for my boss (the
prez), all info contained on our Web server, and... sigh!!

We are a small (50+ employees) software development company, but we
are owned by one of the largest publishing conglomerates in the world
(The Thomson Corporation), so we seem to be small and have this
"team" atmosphere, but we are financially stable and have big-bucks
backing. Still, they seem to hire more programming personnel than
other development (writers!) or support personnel! If I ever get sick
or hospitalized... yikes!! We do have a part-time graphic person,
however I do all my own graphics as much as possible.

So, to answer Don's question, yes, I do wear many hats!!

...sue


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