Would you be called an Info Tech???

Subject: Would you be called an Info Tech???
From: Fabien Vais <phantoms -at- POP -dot- TOTAL -dot- NET>
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 1998 21:41:15 -0500

The following has been forwarded to me by a colleague and friend who is no
longer on the TECHWR-L list. It is a thread that appeared recently on the
Computer Book Publishing list. I'm curious to know what others think about
this. Has anyone heard of this Bill Zwerman or his allegations? A friend of
mine has been a technical writer/editor in Calgary (where Bill is from) and
has never heard of this.

Fabien Vais
phantoms -at- total -dot- net

-------------------------------------
Date: 29 Jan 1998 02:49:19 -0500
From: Bill Zwerman <zwerman -at- acs -dot- ucalgary -dot- ca>
Subject: Re: Occupation - technical writer


Informatics is the term the Canadian government had been
pushing. The normal reference would be Info Tech or some
other umbrella term.

The way this scheme is shaping up, for better or worse, is
to deal with the occupations in terms of levels of
seniority/responsibility. The designations are
Junior,Full Working,Intermediate, and Senior.

The question you raise is suggests that they have not
identified a single occupational stream. This work is being
led by Information Systems Administrators, IS Consultants
with help from some technical workers.

They are not that comfortable with the classifications
developed for education and training, and probably not for
writing.

These classifications are being developed all over the
world now. They may or may not impact your work.

The editor is likely to be viewed as intermediate to senior
depending on the responsibility they assume. However, these
are not supposed to describe management levels.

It's a struggle in this brave new world that is blowing
away all the old occupational structures.

Cheers from that part of the continent benefitting from
el Nino.

Bill Zwerman
Department of Sociology
University of Calgary
Phone: 403-220-5982
Fax: 403-251-6258
zwerman -at- acs -dot- ucalgary -dot- ca

-------------------------------------

On Wed, 28 Jan 1998 20:02:47 -0800 "N.C. Hanger"
<nhanger -at- windhaven -dot- com> wrote:


> Out of curiosity, Bill, what would an editor be classified as?
Informaticee?
Seriously. If a tech writer is involved in "informatics" what would a tech
editor be ... the same classification?
>
> --Nancy--
>
>
>
> Nancy C. Hanger
> Developmental editor/writer for Internet World Guide to Essential
Business
Tactics for the Net (Wiley, spring 1998)
>
> =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
> Windhaven Press:
> editorial services & small press
>
> online & on paper since 1980
> serving publishers' & authors' needs
> nhanger -at- windhaven -dot- com / http://www.windhaven.com
> =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=



-------------------------------
To which Sharon Polsky replied:
-------------------------------

Bill:

Greetings to you in the NW from here in the SW.


I am intrigued by the observations or opinions you expressed to the list.
On what do you base your comments? Experience in the profession?
Observation? Studies?

I have been a technical writer and editor for nearly 20 years, with major
corporate clients -- in range of industries -- across North America, and
colleagues around the world. I speak from experience.

> Informatics is the term the Canadian government had been
> pushing. The normal reference would be Info Tech or some
> other umbrella term.
"Info Tech" is _not_ a term widely used among technical writers,
recruiters, or clients to refer to technical writers, editors, or other
people in related arenas. It is a term used to include a much broader range
of occupations that also includes most computer-related functions (but
while systems analysts/programmers and technical writers are both info tech
people, they are hardly comparable or interchangeable).

The accepted "umbrella term" in North America, Europe, and Australia is
"technical communicator".

> The way this scheme is shaping up, for better or worse, is
> to deal with the occupations in terms of levels of
> seniority/responsibility. The designations are
> Junior,Full Working,Intermediate, and Senior.

Whose designations are those?

> The question you raise is suggests that they have not
> identified a single occupational stream. This work is being
> led by Information Systems Administrators, IS Consultants
> with help from some technical workers.

Au contraire. This profession is not being led by IS people. Technical
writers sometimes do work in IS; many others specialize in entirely non-IS
arenas. IS does not control, dictate, or define what technical
writers/editors create.

> They are not that comfortable with the classifications
> developed for education and training, and probably not for
> writing.
>
> These classifications are being developed all over the
> world now. They may or may not impact your work.
>
> The editor is likely to be viewed as intermediate to senior
> depending on the responsibility they assume. However, these
> are not supposed to describe management levels.

Whose criteria and classifications are you referring to here? By whom are
"these classifications...being developed all over the world now?


S.L. Polsky 403.254.4376
Project Scope Solutions Group
Calgary Alberta Canada




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