Re: ?What we need is a developer who can write.?

Subject: Re: ?What we need is a developer who can write.?
From: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2015 09:38:40 +0000 (UTC)

In response to the following statement:"I do think it's a poor manager who's willing to pay an engineer's salary for tech writing job."
No way! In fact, a true senior-level tech writer should make every bit as much as a developer. You should be paid for the value you add. As a tech writer with programming skills, I've been able to:* Design and implement formatted tooltips* Design and implement resource files for GUI text (as opposed to hard-coded in the source)* Make linguistic and layout improvements directly in the GUI* Design and implement a microservices platform for our docs -- and any other pubs tooling we need
* Convert legacy to DITA* Support 50+ engineers, with user, programming, admin, and relnotes docs
In addition, I'm the go-to person for terminology. I examine GUI work flows and recommend improvements. I deliver occasional training courses and produce some training materials. I do research into interactive content (using live data from the product), bridges to other content silos, and other content-related issues.Â

The result is that I take load away from the developers -- I add value. And note... I started as a tech writer, not as a developer. I'm a tech writer first, and self-taught in the programming areas. The point is, there's plenty you can do to add value to the overall project.

In today's world, being a developer isn't good enough. Senior developers know CONTEXT, and they know how to bring together multiple technologies to achieve an end that satisfies a NEED. Well, same goes for tech writing. Producing pages is not enough... That is a mere commodity.Â

I've said it many times and I'll say it again... ANY technical project is primarily an exercise in information management. Tech writers are information professionals, same as developers. You should get paid for the value you add, not for the title on your business card.
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