Re: Getting moved from engineering to marketing

Subject: Re: Getting moved from engineering to marketing
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- YAHOO -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 18:31:56 -0700

Forget about it. Who cares where the tech pubs group is located. Go hang out
with the engineers, provide them the tech pubs services they request, and
ignore departmental boundaries.

Departments are arbitrary things people make up so they can control people.
Departments are essential an excuse to promote someone into a position where
they can make uniformed decisions, avoid real work, and order people around.
In the workplace of the future, nobody will live in a department they will live
in a project or projects.

If you allow the powers that be the capability to upset you because they put
you in a different department, then you are in essence playing their little
power game. Ignore the boundaries and do good work. Make getting work done
your top priority and departmental boundaries a phantom of corporate nonsense.

As for your departmental meetings, use them as vacations. Take a pillow and
take a nap. Then ask the head of engineering if you can sit in on their
department meetings. Make it clear, your allegiance is to the engineering staff
first. What is the worst they can do? Take away your birthday?

Don't let this stuff get to you. The instant you complain about this to a
superior - they win. They want you to complain so they can exercise power and
make you subservient. If you just ignore their power they won't get what they

As for your career - a career is what you make of it. You could work at some
big high-tech company next to the brightest engineers on the planet, and never
learn anything remotely technical. I knew a guy who worked at Intel for eons
documenting complex chip stuff who did not know squat about electronic design.
Likewise, you could work at Fluff n' Stuff Tepid Marketing Inc. and learn how
to build complex databases. You get what you take from a job. If you take what
they give you, well don't expect much.

Andrew Plato
President / Principal Consultant
Anitian Consulting, Inc.

--- Beth Kane <Kane -at- VENTANA -dot- COM> wrote:
> Although I know this has been discussed a lot in the past, I hope you don't
> mind that I would like to get some fresh thoughts from anyone willing to
> talk about it again. (Maybe there's a trend toward marketing in mid-1999 I
> didn't know about!)
> I joined a new company last November, partly because of an answer they gave
> me during the interview. I asked, is technical publications part of the
> engineering dept.? They said Yes. Well, now there's new leadership, a total
> reorg -- and docs has been put into the marketing dept. I feel ripped off. I
> even feel like this could send my career the wrong way -- away from
> technology and toward sales/fluff.
> It chaps my hide not to be part of the eng. dept. I think tech docs are an
> integral part of the product itself -- not just another piece of
> "collateral," as my new big boss thinks it is.
> Today the big boss tried to reassure me by saying he will let me do my tech
> docs and just help out as needed with marketing/PR stuff. However, every
> dept. meeting I go to is all about marketing, marketing, marketing, which I
> couldn't care less about. Meanwhile, engineering is having its own meetings,
> and I'm losing touch with the people I need to be closest to.
> Do you have any advice for me?
> Thanks very much,
> Beth Kane
> kane -at- ventana -dot- com

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