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I have been following this thread [okay, so I actually read all TECHWR-L
mail] and wondering why I never asked ... till I read Nancy's post:
> the question of respect is a big issue with me. I asked how the technical
> writers and what they do are perceived by line staff and management and how
> the technical writing job fits into the big picture.
Yup! I always do that; just didn't quite look at it as so much a respect
thing as getting a feel for what I call "the corporate culture" of the
place. Other spins I have used include:
"When in the product life cycle/process does the Tech Writer come in?"
"How/how closely does the writer fit into the team developing a
and other specifics. It helps if the person I am talking to is a writer
her/himself. But not always. Company loyalty some times makes 'em
defensive. I non-writing manager can give away a lot more answering one
A *very* pleasant surprise was having a product described by the VP of
my present company and being asked: "Where would you (want to) come in?"
[Actually, he was hoping for UI as well as Documentation help.] And this
from a company that, up to that point, had never had a Tech Writer
My simple reply was "Right in the beginning -- and all the way thru." I
then went on to explain why it was useful to have me in on each stage in
a product life cycle.
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