Re: Query -- Software doc writer's responsibilities

Subject: Re: Query -- Software doc writer's responsibilities
From: Win Day <winday -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 09:58:19 -0500

At 08:45 PM 11/5/96 +0900, Chris Stone - Kinoko Design & Printing
<kinoko -at- SHIZUOKANET -dot- OR -dot- JP> wrote:
>I would like to know more about the scope of the tech writer's job.

>I address these questions to those on the list who were hired by software
>companies to write software documentaion.


Does your job description specifically say you were hired only to write
software documentation? Are you uncomfortabe with the expanded role?


>What other writing, besides the actual documentation, are you asked to do?
>Are you sometimes expected as the hired pen to draft in-house reports,
>correspondence, proposals?


Good heavens, I write everything -- software manuals, proposals, project
reports, marketing materials, journal articles (edit, not write) for my
major client. For other clients, I've written all of the above plus
refinery operating guides, startup and shutdown procedures, HR policies,
equipment specifications, process design basis specifications, grant
applications, applications to build or operate a refinery unit,
presentations, you name it.

>Am I mistaken in thinking that there is a creature called a software
>documentation writer (or whatever) who just works with SMEs and the
>software to develop documentation?


I think only VERY large companies could afford to have such a specialized
beast on staff. In my experience, a technical communicator does what it
takes to get the job done.

Think of it this way -- no matter what your offical job description says,
you were really hired to improve your company's bottom line. Any task that
needs doing is probably fair game.

Win
------------------------
Win Day
Technical Writer/Editor
Email: winday -at- idirect -dot- com


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