Re: Do Technical Writers Deserve Their Own Office?

Subject: Re: Do Technical Writers Deserve Their Own Office?
From: "McMARTIN, Robert" <rmcmarti -at- BAEA -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 08:29:34 +0930

Our Documentation Group is having a hard time justifying private offices
for technical writers to Product Development. We need some strong
reasons to justify that we are different than developers and work more
productively in a quiet working space, especially when we performing
editing duties.

I have over the years worked in many different office environments from
private offices
through to a desk located inside a compactus (buy me a beer and I'll
tell you that story).

My preference is that documenters should be located in the same area as
the development team.
This allows the Tech Writer to be an active member of the team and
what is going on around them. Often valuable information is discussed
in passing between
members of the group, which rarely finds its way to the people writing
the manuals.
I have discovered valuable information about the way a system operates,
or how it performs
from being part of a general conversation with other members of the
group. Something which would
normally be impossible in the cloistered confines of a separate office.

I noticed that some people in the discussion were talking about cubicle
size and lighting.
We here in the nether regions of the world have Occupational and Health
Safety regulations which state the minimum size of a office cubicle and
light levels.
This means that each employee actually has a small world unto themselves
protected by law
and cannot be reduced below a certain size.

Hope this helps


Robert McMartin |There can be no reconciliation
Documentation and Training |where there is no open warfare.
Development Officer |There must be a battle, a brave
British Aerospace Australia |boisterous battle, with pennants

|waving and cannon roaring, before
|there can be peaceful treaties
|and enthusiastic shaking of hands.
|-- Mary Elizabeth Braddon
| (1837-1915).

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