Friday, August 18, 2006

Poor, poor, technical writers. This is the kind of work our ilk do!

Came across this article on this website. Must say the author (Joel Spolsky) has a sense of humor, don't know how to classify it. But, do trust me this is what happens to technical writers in software companies.

"When you don't have a spec, what happens with the poor technical writers is the funniest (in a sad kind of way). Tech writers often don't have the political clout to interrupt programmers. In many companies, if tech writers get in the habit of interrupting programmers to ask how something is supposed to work, the programmers go to their managers and cry about how they can't get any work done because of these [expletive deleted] writers, and could they please keep them away, and the managers, trying to improve productivity, forbid the tech writers to waste any more of their precious programmers' time. You can always tell these companies, because the help files and the manuals don't give you any more information than you can figure out from the screen."

Must visit it more often for its, whackier, um, engagingly written sense of content.
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mumbaiwallah said...

I was once offered a job as a technical writer some years ago. Fortunately, my extravagant PSU salary prevented me from taking a lower paid job, although I enjoyed the interview very much!

John said...

Hi Chryselle,

Now you know what happens to technical writers?



Kamla said...


Being a technical writer is challenging. There are cases when your job is made easier if you have a good project manager, who is in charge of the engineers. In that case it is amazing how quickly you can gather your facts and write the manual.

A few years ago I did tech writing for a while, and I was lucky to have a great project manager, who made my task of writing really easy. He probably helped me because of two things: my familiarity with Clearcase and Unix, and the fact that I knew how to navigate man pages.

Best of luck with your writing.


John said...

Hi Kamla,

A honour indeed, meaning, you visiting my page. Thanks for the comment. I will add a link to your blog and Kamla Bhatt show on the right bot.