Re: Culture, or What it means to be a Technical Writer

Subject: Re: Culture, or What it means to be a Technical Writer
From: Barb Ostapina <Barb -dot- Ostapina -at- METROMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 09:56:28 -0500

I've been musing about this "what is a technical writer" issue and reading
all the comments with great interest. It's a particularly salient issue for
me as I've just accepted a new position with my company -- Business Analyst
(a term, I'm coming to discover, that is no less vague than Technical
Writer). I've been struggling with which path to go down, and if I choose
the new path, will I be successful and glad I picked that one. The new role
will involve identifying and documenting current software development
processes and procedures, formalizing policies and standards, integrating
different approaches to project management into a single methodology,
developing tools to assist in executing the methodology (e.g., checklists,
templates, etc.), performing requirements analysis (clarifying and
converting requirements into a verifiable and testable matrix), managing
customer implementation and certification processes, and project
management. It seems to me that it's actually a spot on the technical
writer continuum -- a different one than I've been at, but there all the
same. The more I think about all this, the closer I get to concluding that
technical writing is really non-fiction writing (except, of course, when
you write it before the product's done). I know that's pretty broad, but so
are we. What do you think?

--B
barb -dot- ostapina -at- metromail -dot- com
...speaking only for myself.




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