Re: Certification

Subject: Re: Certification
From: Carl Rudorf <crudorf -at- CCMGATE -dot- MBSBOOKS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1996 14:52:37 CST

On 3/20/96 David Jones wrote:

<snip> Just a thought ... does anyone on the list report/work under marketing or
sales management instead of technical development? I would think marketing would
place more importance on good documentation, if nothing else as a sales tool.
Does anyone have any input that might prove/disprove that? <snip>

Here's a twist . . . the entire "Systems" area is managed from the marketing
department. This includes hardware (we're an IBM reseller), programming, and
technical support. "Systems Documentation" falls under tech support. Originally,
it consisted of one hapless soul who happened to find himself in Mid-Missouri,
due to his wife's desire to pursue doctoral studies at the university. Eventuall
y, the powers that be realized I could use an additional hand. As far as this
organization's interest in what I have done and continue to do for them . . .
there aint enough bandwidth out there! Let me put it succinctly, management
places almost no value on end user documentation. Indeed, it's not unheard of
for the marketing reps to sell applications for which no doc exists at all. (Of
course, it's not unheard of for the marketing reps to sell applications for
which there is no code. But that's another thread.) Such a low premium is placed
on "support services" here. Recently I was pulled off one project to write --
from scratch -- end user doc for an appl that -- due to the absence of doc -- a
customer refused to pay for! Now the powers that be have decided to put the doc
we do have -- 90% of which I've written -- online. The thought is to *sell* the
doc! (This cant be a norm!?)

What is especially frustrating is working across town from an internationally
recognized developer of telecommunication's software. Here's a company that
develops 1 product and employs 6 tech writers, provides them adequate tools
(Frame, etc), and pays them a wage that reflects management's appreciation of
their skills. Whereas here, we develop 12+ applications for several platforms
and there's just the two of us. -- Understaffed, underequipped, underpayed, and
always under the gun.

Ah . . . I'm having a bad day.

I shouldn't kvetch . . . hey, they bought my proposal to buy Frame. It's a
trend, right?

Yeah, right, they probably figure I'll write twice as many doc in half the time.

Oh well.

carl rudorf
crudorf -at- mbsbooks -dot- com


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