Re: TW role in Y2K issues

Subject: Re: TW role in Y2K issues
From: "Eric Haddock, Q.P." <eric -at- ENGAGENET -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 09:56:19 -0500

Your question is interesting--one that I would _never_ have thought of.

Maybe I missed something about year 2000 but I thought its effect was
contained in antiquated mainframe software which, generally, is only used
by the federal government, some state governments, and ultra-large
database-driven corporations and of those entities, how many technical
writers document the operation of such software? It seems to me we're
almost all employed in corporations using modern software documenting
modern devices which aren't dependent on the what the last two digits of
the year are.

>What do you think is the role of the tech writer in this issue?

I don't see any that apply to technical writers in general. The problem
isn't ubiquitous so its effect will be only in certain companies and
certain situations.

>Are any of you actively working on Y2K issues?

No. In fact, I'm only going to be barely aware of it in life (except, of
course, for the crushing deluge of advertising and millenial retrospectives
and millenial forecasts and the 1000 different millenial this and that
we're all going to have to put up with in the media from now until 2005).
Why, my wife writes all the checks so I won't even have to write "00" when
the time comes.
Professionally, I don't see any impact whatsoever unless I happen to
switch companies and happen to be assigned to some project related to
2000--a miniscule chance to be generous.

>Is this going to mean any new work for tech writers?

Some companies have specific problems which generate work for technical
writers and some companies will have trouble with the year becoming 2000 so
in that respect there will be new work--but this isn't a big issue that
will affect the industry as a whole or cause people to get technical
writing degrees by any means.

>And have any of you experienced problems already?

Goodness no.

>I'm just raising this as an issue that I think may be relevant to many
>of us.

Writers in very large entities who are running antiquated mainframe
programs perhaps but for what I perceive as the majority of technical
writers, I don't see an impact.

Regards from beautiful Wisconsin! :)

Me --> mailto:moonlion -at- full-moon -dot- com
Work --> mailto:ehaddock -at- engagenet -dot- com

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