Re: flowcharts and technical writers
Right now I'm documenting a complex process. If I don't include a flowchart in my documentation, my users will be at sea, considering that I'm in the uncomfortable position of addressing two different user groups (with different tasks) at once. No such flow chart came to me from the developers -- I'll have to make it myself.Subject: Flow Charting and Technical Writers Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 14:54:35 PST From: Anthony Markatos
Question to all software Technical Writers: Do software technical writers often have to flow chart the system they are creating documentation on?
a scary thought, given that products are often designed from the developers' flowcharts...I would ordinarily assume that any flow chart (i.e., logical flow chart, data flow diagram, etc.) would be created by developers and systems analysts and then given to the technical writer. However, I have always had to create these myself. Existing flow charts were either non-existent or unusable.
I think you can expect to keep doing it, too. It would be nice if you could start doing these flowcharts as part of the product development process, rather than after the flow is locked into code. It would help to guarantee a usable product AND help to make you an indispensable part of product planning. However, as most of us writers know, this is a Platonic ideal. ;-)I have read numerous books on technical writing and none has even mentioned flow charting as a TW task. Yet this is often one of the most important things that I have to do.
Good luck!I seek answers to the above for career planning reasons.
By the bye, I use Visio Professional for flowcharting.
abrown -at- openmarket -dot- com
Don't blame Open Market for anything I say!
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