Re: Titles for Technical Writer

Subject: Re: Titles for Technical Writer
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- MARVIN -dot- ENG -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 10:22:54 -0800

Garret Romaine wrote:

>Anyway, I'll also add one of my favorite technical writing titles,
>courtesy, I believe, of Hewlett-Packard:
>
>Learning Products Engineer
>
>The reason I like the title is because, by my interpretation, it means I can
>not just write, but engineer my documents. In other words, tinker with them
>long after the first customer shipment was due, all in the name of
>improvement.
>

This title is indeed used at Hewlett Packard. Having worked with
some writers from there in a joint project, I am not as enamored
with it as you are. It seems to reflect a feeling, at least in the
writing group with which I worked, that their job was mainly to
pass along technical information from the engineers to the users,
rather than trying to interpret that information or write it in
a way best suited to their users. When it came down to a decision
between what the engineers wanted versus what was best for the
documentation, they always went with the desires of their engineers.

I much prefer the term "writer," which I think implies not only
the process of putting words down on paper but also with making
decisions about the best way to present the written word.

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