TWers--the human Snap-On tool of industry (was Re: Query -- Software doc writer's responsibilities)

Subject: TWers--the human Snap-On tool of industry (was Re: Query -- Software doc writer's responsibilities)
From: Eric Haddock <eric -at- ENGAGENET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 09:24:08 -0600

Technical writers are like the human snap-on tool of industry. It's true.
We do a huge variety of tasks--far more than other occupations I can think
of. How many programmers do something other than code? Not a lot. But how
many technical writers stick to one area of communicating? Few--very few.
Only if you're in the largest of companies can you stick to doing just one
thing all the time. In addition to the wide variety of writing, we also do a
lot of personal communication tasks such as presentations, training, and the
like. _Plus_, there is our involvement in other industries like photography,
graphic design, illustration, web page design, marketing--the list goes on
doesn't it?

I organize my work week by day. I do a different thing every day of the
week and it's wonderful (find out more about that on my personal web page
(click on "Pawing the keyboard")) and in what other job could I do so many
different things all the time? On top of everything else, there are programs
to train us to do all these various tasks--it's not like we have to "pick
up" the skills as we go along.

If you want to enter the field and become a human Snap-On tool for
industry, expect to be fitted with different heads for different jobs. Your
role is to provide the best head you can. Specialized people-tools that just
do one thing all day every day--that's the exception, not the rule (and a
bleak existence I would argue).

/`-_ Eric Haddock ------
{ }/ Technical writer
\ | Engage Networks, Inc. -----
\__*| located in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee, WI

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