Anyone have a programmer in the doc group?

Subject: Anyone have a programmer in the doc group?
From: David Castro <thetechwriter -at- YAHOO -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 08:45:46 -0700

We had a person from Autodesk present at our STC meeting a couple of months
back (she was part of a panel of indexers). She told us that Autodesk had a
"handyman" kind of programmer on the documentation staff. This person would
write scripts, applications, and stuff to make the writers' lives easier. I
don't recall what types of programs, but I know that one of them did something
to .MIF files to make indexing easier.

How many out there have a programmer on the documentation staff? Or someone at
their disposal when they need something like a script? How about the writers
who can also program: are you allowed to write scripts/applets/programs on
company time? How big are the companies that have this luxury (or what seems
like a luxury)?

For the record, I have written applications for my work, but in my own time.
(One of them allowed you to change source file names in RoboHTML before Blue
Sky's latest release, which now has that functionality included.) I realized
when writing them that I was probably justified in working on those utilities
on company time, but just didn't feel quite right about it. If I know that
there are other companies out there who have writers working on this kind of
stuff, or who have programmers on the documentation staff, then it might be
easier for me to justify to myself and the management! :-)

-David Castro
techwrtr -at- crl -dot- com
thetechwriter -at- yahoo -dot- com
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