Titles for Tech Writers

Subject: Titles for Tech Writers
From: Mike Christie <mikec -at- LUNA -dot- SYNTEL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 09:48:34 -0700

I was at a Steve Allen show at Rooster T. Feathers comedy club in
Sunnyvale on Friday. (For those of you not familair with Sunnyvale, it's
part of that magical place we call Silicon Valley.) Steve was answering
questions from the audience that they had submitted on cards. He was
reading one man's question, and asked him , "What do you do for a living,
sir?" to which he responded, "Technical writer." I started
clapping, at which point Allen looked over in my direction with a rather
bewildered look, and then turned back to the questioner and asked "Do you
have any idea why a complete stanger would applaud at the mere mention of
the words 'technical writer'?"

I certainly think the words "technical writer" deserve applause. ;-)

However, this does bring up a question. (This is actually one of those
this-has-been-discussed-before-but-it-didn't-affect-me-then-but-it-does-now-
so-I'm-asking-again questions.)

My company is going through a major re-organization - the office in
England is changing ownership, the office here is changing to a different
ownership from the one in England, and it has been reduced from 13 to 6
people. I'm one of the survivors. Needless to say, I'll be doing more than
just tech pubs for a while, but over the long haul that will be my primary
focus will be in that area. Since I get to select my own title in the new
company, I need to decide what to call myself. I rather like the term IBM
uses: 'information developer' since it impiles
1)organizing and designing, as well as writing and
2)online as well as printed material.
I figured I'd also add the word 'senior' for the sake of my resume. (Just
in case, you know...) I've been writing manuals and online help since 1989,
so I figure that's not unreasonable.

Any thoughts on appropriate job titles under the circumstances?

(This might be a good one for the FAQ, and yes, I would like to see the
FAQ in HTML.)


Mike Christie
Technical Writer
Syntelligence Systems, Inc.
mikec -at- syntel -dot- com

...soon to be...

Mike Christie
Senior Information Developer (???)
SyntelSoft, Inc.
mikec -at- syntel -dot- com


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