Re: Respect or no?

Subject: Re: Respect or no?
From: Tony Rocco <tony_rocco -at- NAVIS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1996 11:51:45 U

Mail*Link(r) SMTP RE>Respect or no?

I don't think that I am *disrespected* at all as a technical writer for my
current employer, certainly. But speaking from my overall experience in six
plus years of tech writing, the last three consistently, I would say that
often technical writers are underappreciated and misunderstood, and
frequently mismanaged. This isn't *usually* due to any disregard for the
technical writer, but rather to ignorance of the importance of good
documentation and how difficult and time consuming it can be to produce it.
This is changing slowly but surely.

In addition, in the overall scheme of things, tech writers are lower on the
heirarchy than engineers and programmers, let's face it. Any product could
exist without documentation, but documentation could never exist without a
product. We're never going to get the same center-stage attention that the
developers and designers of actual products and technologies get, no matter
how hard we try to make the value of what we do understood and appreciated. I
think we all just have to accept that fact as part of our profession, while
all the while making a case for the value of what we do.
--------------------------------------
Date: 9/9/96 09:06
From: Eric Haddock
Two independent posts on the same day about the same thing:

>If you think you get no respect as a writer *now*, try being a
>technical writer.

and:

>Technical writers don't often get the respect they deserve


Really? I guess I'm naive because I haven't heard of this before. I can
understand a few companies here and there--no matter what the profession
there's a company that won't respect it--but the above posts made it sound
like "oh yes, didn't you know? TWs aren't respected nation-wide." None of
the TWs I know personally have ever complained about it so that's the basis
my perception. Am I wearing rose colored glasses?
If I change jobs, should I go in with the perception that it's more
likely than not that I won't be respected for what I do?

Comments on this list are the first for me so I have to ask:

Is there a lack of respect for technical writing at your job? I don't
mean for your personally, but is there a corporate attitude that
systematically denies all TWs in the company appropriate respect?

Who's doing the disrespecting? Engineers? Managers? Fiction writers?


And the most important question:

How does the company disrespect you as a TW?




/`-_ Eric Haddock ------ http://www2.corenet.net/moonlion
{ }/ Technical writer
\ | Engage Networks, Inc. ----- http://www.engagenet.com
\__*| Milwaukee, WI

"Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words."
-- Mark Twain

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