RE: What department are you in?

Subject: RE: What department are you in?
From: Curtis Matthews <cmatthews -at- cpcus -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 14:21:01 -0500

Dan, I'm practically a lone writer (myself & a junior TW underneath me), and
technical publications at my company just recently moved from Marketing to
Engineering. It was a VERY positive move for a number of reasons, most of
which are off-topic.

In choosing a department, I would consider what job duty you expect will
take up the most time and effort, because I believe it's important to have a
close affiliation with the SMEs you'll depend on for information. Despite
the fact you'll be doing a lot of things, some people who don't know any
better will still pigeonhole you by what department you're in and charge you
by the company you keep.

At my company, Marketing is viewed by the engineers as "The Non-Technical
Sales Support Guys Who Ask Dumb Questions and Make Ludicrous Requirements
Demands." That rubbed off on me, and as a result the engineers always talked
to me like I was a 9-year-old, even though I probably knew more about the
product as a whole than they did. Moving to Engineering somehow removed that
stigma, which made my job a lot easier because it improved the flow of
communication between the SMEs and I.

Of course, being in Engineering carries its own stigma...but it's nothing
that interferes with my getting the job done.

I hope this was helpful.

Curtis Matthews

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dan Caldwell [SMTP:writer -at- hscis -dot- net]
> Is there a particular department that tech writers get attached to when
> they're the only writer in a company? I recently joined a wireless
> telecom startup and found myself faced with the unexpected dilemma of
> "where do I belong?"

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