Re: Yearly review (Was Fire them all)

Subject: Re: Yearly review (Was Fire them all)
From: Jane Bergen <jbergen1 -at- EARTHLINK -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 09:12:03 -0600

Brian, you're actually bringing up a point here that ties to something
I've been preaching about (and getting flamed your flaming
arrows, folks...I've already had enough of them thrown at me to light
up a city): professionalism. We cannot be taken seriously as a
profession until we get off this mindset that tech writing is
something "anyone can do."

How many companies hire a programmer who has never programmed AND
never taken a programming course? None that I've seen. Yet companies
hire people to be tech writers who have no experience and have never
taken a technical writing course, because they have 1) good grammar
skills and 2) know how to use Word <or FrameMaker, or whatever>. I
see message after message about someone wanting to be a tech writer
and wanting to know how to get a JOB as a tech writer but they don't
ask how to be a professional communicator.

Come on, folks. Whether or not you *could* be a good tech writer is
NOT THE POINT that I'm trying to make here. It's about perception ---
how our employers and non-tw colleagues perceive us in the grand
scheme of pecking order.

We need, in order to be considered professionals when it comes to
salaries and org charts, to be people who know what we're doing
because we have been trained to do something that others haven't been
trained to do, just as programmers or accountants are. We need to
present ourselves (and believe it ourselves) as adding value to a
product. We need to continue pushing ourselves to be better, to learn
more, to produce more and better documentation products. We need to
push our way into the development teams to be a vital part of the
product cycle (whatever the product may be: software, hardware,
pharmaceuticals, it doesn't matter). We need to support professional
organizations that recognize our professional statusand work to
elevate it.

Brian has run into the brick wall that many of us have helped to

Jane Bergen

Brian Martin writes (snipped for brevity)
>My opinion is that code, text, and graphics should all get voted on
>equal basis. I'm not saying that everyone should get paid the same
>Heck, I'm no commie, let the market determine your level. We should
all at
>least get measured with the same yard stick.

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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