Re: TW role in Y2K issues

Subject: Re: TW role in Y2K issues
From: Mike Collier - SSG <MikeCol -at- SBSERVICES -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 10:55:48 -0400

Good question.

Maybe there wouldn't be lot of 2000 conversion issues if technical
writers had been employed 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago to properly document
code used in applications involving date variables and calculations. But
then, of course, no one worried about their problem, and many systems
were purposely made to be inscrutable except by those who designed and
programmed them.

I would imagine there would be a fair amount of writing involved in
producing reports for systems analysts and consultants that work on
conversion issues. These would be reports that describe the extent of
the problem in an organization's applications and what needs to be
changed for the system to continue to function after 12/31/99. There's
also the potential for tremendous amounts of documentation illustrating
the before and after state of the system so analysts can see what has
changed and the ripple effects/critical dependencies related to those

Or, organizations might find that it's easier to just scrap the whole
system and start over--with a documentation plan, this time!

Michael Collier
mikecol -at- sbservices -dot- com
SOFTBANK Services Group
Buffalo, NY

>From: Mary Howe[SMTP:thunder -at- IDIR -dot- NET]
>Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 1997 10:15 AM
>Subject: TW role in Y2K issues
>Here's a question for general discussion: Clearly the Year 2000 issues
>will affect many of us. Even as an independent contractor working mostly
>on non-computer documents, I can at least alert my clients to problems
>they may encounter.
>What do you think is the role of the tech writer in this issue?
>Are any of you actively working on Y2K issues?
>Is this going to mean any new work for tech writers? (No, I'm not
>looking for a job, I'm just interested.)
>And have any of you experienced problems already?
>I'm just raising this as an issue that I think may be relevant to many
>of us.
>Mary Howe
>Thunder Works, Inc.
>Writing and Editing Services
>thunder -at- idir -dot- net

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