Re: Write and They Will Come

Subject: Re: Write and They Will Come
From: Sella Rush <SellaR -at- APPTECHSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 14:08:37 -0800

Once again I'm with John. Do the work and let them come around to you.
Actually, your subject line is rather appropo, but maybe not in the way
you meant.

Your situation is also very similar to mine--I've been working in it for
nearly 2 years. As is common, when I arrived the 8 programmers I worked
with already had a list of documentation needs. The first thing I did
was make myself accessible to fill these needs. They let me know what
their expectations were on content and I took that and started fitting
it into an effective communications framework (i.e. content
organization, formating, presentation). I let people know what I could
do for them, made a point of respecting their earlier efforts, and most
important I did the work they wanted done. At the same time I started
working on a style guide, investigated the many options for delivering
documentation (to help or not to help), and started instituting my own
procedures for recordkeeping, estimating, planning, etc. I either
adapted to existing procedures or simply initiated my own. Developing
procedure has been a slow process there's still plenty to do, but one
thing is certain: implementation has been pretty painless, and the
procedures themselves are nearly transparent.

Not that you're doing this, but the last thing you want to do is dig in
your heels and make demands before you've proven your own worth and the
worth of your opinions and ideas. Process and procedure is all very
well, and it becomes even more important as time goes on, particularly
when a lone writer becomes a team. But it's not necessarily the place
to start.

BTW--while I've found Hackos' book extremely valuable, it's not really
geared for the lone writer. Keep that in mind.
Sella Rush
mailto:sellar -at- apptechsys -dot- com
Applied Technical Systems, Inc. (ATS)
Bremerton, Washington USA
Developers of the CCM Database

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