Re: What kind of names do you make up?

Subject: Re: What kind of names do you make up?
From: Joe Schrengohst <jschreng -at- CISCO -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 20:50:44 -0700


Most publications managers here in Silicon Valley have
decided to make recruiting harder for "headhunters," so
they eliminated the writer's names from the manuals.
I often get around this by including my first and middle
names (Joe Kent) in screens, etc. It's been a lot of years
since I've ever had to show anyone a writing sample, but
I have a whole library full of manuals from different clients
that include the ubiquitous "Joe Kent."

As for "fake names" in the type of application you're
talking about I had the same problem recently for a client
that's probably a competitior of your clients. We used a
number of different schemes including taking the first
name from line 1 in the phone book, the second name
from line 3, and the phone number (inverted) from line 5.

One "trick" that I've used over the years to ensure that
the devlopers always read my manuals word by word
is to insert a sentence similar to the following right in the
middle of an obscure paragraph somewhere ---

"This obtuse piece of crap was coded by <developer's
name>. He (or she) can be reached at area code
<developer's home phone number>. Personally, I'd
call about 3 am (Time Zone) just to make sure that
you reach him (or her) so that you can tell him (or
her) exactly what you think of it."

You would be amazed how closely the developers
will everafter scrutinize the most minute details of
every thing that you ever write.

At 10:09 AM 6/10/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Bear with me on this. :-)
>I'm documenting an application that includes, as part
>of the application, a Contact component.
>This component functions as a telephone book/contact
>management module.
>I've been told not to use "real" information, so for
>the purposes of this manual, we've made up a fictitous
>country, address, etc. Well, we want to include a
>fictitous set of contacts. (name, title, phone#, fax#,
>email address, etc.)
>Now...I could use the universally-know "John Smith at
>123 Main St.", or I could use...something else. ;-)
>The question: have you, as the writer, ever used your
>own name as the contact? It sure would eliminate the
>problem we all have when showing our portfolios in
>"Mr. do we know that it was you that
>wrote the content and that you aren't showing someone
>elses work?"
>Have any of you ever taken that route?
>John Posada
>Western Union International
>(w) jposada -at- westernunion -dot- com
>(p) john -at- tdandw -dot- com
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Get your free address at
>From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==
Joe Schrengohst
Contract Technical Writer
Cisco Systems
Network Software Services Unit
170 West Tasman Drive
San Jose, CA 95134
E-Mail: jschreng -at- cisco -dot- com
Cisco Phone: (408) 527-9844
Cisco Fax: (408) 527-1488
Home Phone: (775) 782-4129
Home Fax: (775) 782-5585

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

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