Re: Getting the programmers to come to you

Subject: Re: Getting the programmers to come to you
From: Gillian McGarvey <gmcgarv -at- OVID -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 08:25:42 -0400

To: techwr-l @ listserv.okstate.edu
cc:


I'm sure most of you know that I wasn't objecting to creating a friendly
work environment, or extending myself to develop a rapport with a
programmer. At my company, the relationship between the
programmers/developers and tech writers is pretty good, but it's built on
mutual respect. It's also helped by a technology manager who is trying to
get doc involved in the development process as early as possible. When
I get the impression that a developer doesn't have that respect (due to my
position or gender),
which unfortunately does happen, perhaps it is a character flaw in me, but
I expend my energy elsewhere, and make sure any related
manager is aware of the situation. Thanks everyone for chiming in; what an
educational experience it was (depressing, but educational).

A few of you did respond to me off-list with full support, even taking it
beyond using the gentle word I chose, "bewildered." It's comforting to
know that I'm not the only
one who believes in using other means of dealing with this issue than
bribery with baked goods. I enjoyed hearing some suggestions of alternate
solutions. I apologize for not being able to credit who suggested this,
but I especially like the idea of clearly defining the project, mapping out
each
component along with who is responsible for each task, and presenting this
at meetings (if you have the luxury of meetings). It takes bravery and
assertiveness to be so direct, but I much prefer more "on the table," more
professional methods like these. I also enjoyed hearing the advice not to
take on any task that isn't really your responsibility. I've found this to
be an undying lesson as a tech writer. Overall, I'm all for making it
known to
management that this is a problem which needs to be addressed, if not in my
lifetime at the company, eventually. And let the chips fall where
they may.

Based on Bob Morrissette's response below, I know exactly what to do...
Can you guess what it is? ;-)

Happy baking everyone!

Gillian McGarvey
gmcgarv -at- ovid -dot- com
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The US Department of education sees things a little differently.
Degrees awarded in Computer Science have fallen 42 percent since
1986, the peak year. Engineering degrees have fallen 18 percent.
Programmers are in greater demand than ever and with increasing
demand and a decreasing supply of new blood, programmers should
do very well in the foreseeable future. We have hundreds of
programmer openings. For every X programmers hired as new head
count, there are usually X technical writers hired.

Bob Morrisette
writer -at- sabu -dot- EBay -dot- sun -dot- com

The Network is the Computer

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