Re: Do you do QA?

Subject: Re: Do you do QA?
From: Dennis Meier <boisemeier -at- EXECU -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 15:25:31 -0600

>On Tue, 30 Jul 1996 10:37:06 -0500 Karen Mayer wrote:
> seems odd to label us "QA test engineers/technical
>writers" when we also design and create a product that needs to be QA tested.

>I'd like the opinions of other writers. Am I being unreasonable in resisting
>this arrangement?

I'm not clear on the context in which you are expected to perform QA
functions, but having worked as a QA Engineer, I can certainly see why
someone would think a Technical Writer can perform QA-like functions. As a
QA Engineer, you focus on the requirements of a product or service. You peer
over the shoulders of others on the project, assessing compliance with these
requirements. Others are concerned with how the work is to be done; your
myopic concern is only to ensure that the end result complies with
requirements. The engineers and scientists working to build the product may
waver from the requirements from time to time, but the QA engineer is always
there representing the person who will use the product.

I see Technical Writers having much the same mind set: the writer is the
person who views the product from the perspective of the user, particularly
the user not overly fascinated by the inner workings of technology. The
Technical Writer owes an allegiance to the user, not the technology.

Again, I don't know the specifics of your situation--what, exactly, are you
being asked to do?--but I can surely see the common thread between QA and
Technical Writing.

Dennis Meier, owner
Technical Communications Consulting

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