Re: Developers

Subject: Re: Developers
From: Darla Kennington <Darla -at- ACCUBID -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 13:13:13 -0500

I agree with Suzette and my practice is much the same; however, I am finding
at the new place I work, the developers control almost every facet of the
company. It is a small company of only 41 employees and our market is
general contractors, so it is not really a software-minded organization. It
is run by the owner and creator (who was a general contractor for many
years) so, documentation goes before the developers for approval (not
review, approval). It is very frustrating to have no editorial control. More
and more, I feel like a typesetter.

Although it is my standard practice to send around a review sign-off sheet
with my documents, my request for a technical review only, is ignored. On
that sheet, I specifically state what my expectations are, but still I get
structural, grammatical, punctuation, style...(you name it) comments. If I
ignore or refuse to change something, management gets involved, and I lose.

It can cause a lot of hassles if the company you're working for doesn't
quite know why they hired tech writers only that they did some research into
how a software company works and tech writers were among the list of
positions. The moral of the story is to research the company dynamic before
you assume your writing role.. And, make sure that management has at least a
smattering of understanding of what you do and why. I have made a list of
questions I would ask from now on in an interview. Only when management
buys-in to what you do, can you expect to exercise any control over end user


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