Re: Hiring a Writer with little experience

Subject: Re: Hiring a Writer with little experience
From: kimber_miller -at- acs-inc -dot- com
To: <Rasil -dot- Ahuja -at- hqda -dot- army -dot- mil>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 14:02:03 -0600

Hi, Rasil!

I have to say that I didn't agree exactly with the responses posted to the list
for your question. I've forwarded a message from Bill Swallow that contains a
list of "technical writing" functions that is pretty typical for a lone writer
who must perform many functions at a business.

Rather than choosing your successor, I suggest that you present your manager
with the many, many messages from this list's archive that detail the
qualifications and duties of a technical writer. That way, your manager gains an
added measure of respect for the position and will be better able to decide for
him/herself if any one applicant is qualified to take over from you.




Kimber Miller
Affiliated Computer Services
Dallas, Texas

-----Original Message-----
From: William Swallow <WSWALLOW -at- commsoft -dot- net>
Sent: Friday, November 12, 1999 9:36 AM
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Subject: Tech Writer - why called such?

Technical writing, in my opinion, has no set job description. Here's what I
do on a daily basis:
* evaluate software
* write instructions
* write functionality descriptions
* text software
* find bugs
* handle client-specific issues
* create graphics
* publish to print
* publish to PDF
* publish to HTML
* create online Help
* provide internal training
* troubleshoot documentation tools
* audience analysis
* research emerging technologies
* Web design
* template control

I'm sure I'm missing some things... Anyhow, the point is that it is
incredibly difficult to find a title that fits all these tasks. Am I a
writer? Yes. Do I do other stuff? You betcha. Is it expected of me? Uh huh.

The title "Technical Writer" has been around for quite some time. The word
"technical" compliments "writer" in such a way that it transcends the
traditional writer stereotype and includes such things as software, product
specialization, industry knowledge and technological aptitude.

I'll wear any title my employer gives me, however I feel that no title
better fits my work than "technical writer".

Bill Swallow
Technical Writer
Aptis Inc.
a subsidiary of Billing Concepts
phone: 518.433.7698
fax: 518.433.7680
<mailto:william -dot- swallow -at- aptissoftware -dot- com>

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