TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:writers to programmers ratio From:KAREN_OTTO -at- HP-SPOKANE-OM2 -dot- OM -dot- HP -dot- COM Date:Wed, 15 Jan 1997 10:59:18 -0700
Item Subject: cc:Mail Text
My version of "it depends":
It depends on the schedule of the docs
It depends on the number of engineers per product
It depends on the complexity of each product
It depends on the information needs of the customer
It depends on the publication form (web vs CD vs paper)
We are *very* understaffed at 17:1 engineers:writers at the moment.
This is because there are several new products, the new products are
for new technologies, and the software associated with the products is
quite simple to create, but documenting it takes longer.
What we really need is
2 writers per new product (about 4 manuals per product)
2-4 writers to maintain existing product (about two dozen items)
3:1 ratio of engineers to writers for software products
2 writers for service manuals
What we have is
3 writers for all new products (20+manuals)
1 writer for existing product
1 writer for all software