The Software Development Cycle Involves Many Different Phases and Types of Expertise; Every Phase Requires Documentation (MRDs, Architecture Specs, UI Design, ATPs, Test Reports, etc.) – So Why Do Most Tech Writers Only Get Involved in Phase 6 – User Guides ?
One of our observations is that technical writers who do really well in their organizations actually contribute to and become experts (or partial experts) in some areas beyond the scope of their core job definition as tech writer. This may be by getting involved in any of these areas: UI design, marketing writing, product definition, customer/staff training, QA, process engineering, etc.
At the next ITTT meeting we will discuss this phenomenon in depth.
In the meantime, in order to get our juices flowing, we are inviting each of you to write a paragraph or two about your experience.
If you prefer a little structure you can use these questions as guidelines.
- When did you or do you go beyond the confines of the tech-writer role and wear another hat at your company?
- What hat is it?
- How did this come about?
- When/how often does this ocurr?
- How does this affect your work – from your perspective?
- How does this affect your colleagues’/managers’ perception of you?
- Do you think that overall this phenomenon (of TWs branching out) is good for the technical-writing field or not?