TW on the development team

Subject: TW on the development team
From: George Allaman <gallama -at- LOOKOUT -dot- ECTE -dot- USWC -dot- USWEST -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 17:46:53 -0700

I must have a dream job.

I am the only tech writer on a team of about fifteen (it keeps changing)
software developers. I'm not sure if developer is the right word. Most of
these people have PhDs - one in astrophysics, another from Oxford University.
Only one beside me has only a humble bachelors. Every one of them knows Frame
almost as well as I do. We are developing an integrated application
development platform composed of multiple third-party packages, so it is
really a level above application development.

I not only get tons of respect, I actually drive the program because its only
real deliverable is the documentation. For most of the team, English is a
second language, so they very much depend on my English skills. There is
absolutely no evidence of the snobby class-orientation here between
programmers and writers that I have seen in other jobs. Perhaps this is due
to the sophistication and intelligence of my teammates. Perhaps it is due to
the focus and importance that management places on documentation.

My only advice to those who are subjected to that nasty vertical thinking
is to get out. If tech writers are looked down upon or isolated from the
teams they support, you are powerless to maintain the standard of your
product. Leave those jobs for the newcomers to struggle in. I did!

|George Allaman | |
|Tech Writer | <clever, meaningful |
|Denver, Colorado | quip which somehow |
|Office (303) 624-1619 | summarizes my life |
|Home (303) 771-8060 | philosophy> |
|Alternate: georgea -at- csn -dot- net | |

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