Re: Technophobia/Information Anxiety/who are we?

Subject: Re: Technophobia/Information Anxiety/who are we?
From: "Collier,Michael" <MCollier -at- CNALIFE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 10:55:28 -0600

I think a lot of this anxiety is created because documentation
departments haven't been able to keep up with the specialization that
has had to occur on the technical side in order for engineering work to
proceed effectively.

On large software engineering projects, for example, you have people who
know the business very well working closely with the technical experts
who know how to take a business model and implement it into an automated
system. The business analyst has as his/her counterpart the systems
analyst who can determine how the system will support the business

There may also be a systems architect, a business architect, analysis
experts, design experts, and of course programmers. All of these people
create work that needs to be documented in order to produce programmer's
documents and user documents. And, guess who gets to keep up with all of

Perhaps the Utopia of documentation departments would reflect the
engineering model to some degree--with document design experts,
usability experts, visual design experts, and the
"implementers"--various software experts who produce documents using the
skills they're best at (online help, Framemaker, Word, etc). And some of
the larger corporations probably do specialize their writers like this,
to some degree. You may think of yourself as a writer first, but to the
company, you're a skill set. For better or worse, in an era of
increasing specialization, your job defines what you need to bring to
the party, and you adjust or train yourself accordingly.

O brave new world, that has such people in it!

Michael Collier
mcollier -at- cnalife -dot- com, or

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