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the software guys already know what ought to be in the requirements,
they just can't write them. so the tech writer's main qualification
has to be, not experience at requirement writing, but adaptability. i
once had a contract at ibm to do requirements on a digital video
project. didn't know squat about either. but i knew enough to
interview the experts thoroughly as to what they wanted, and gain
their support in assisting me with info to produce it. like showing me
all the stuff they'd written about what they thought they were doing
on the project to get to the requirements stage. then i had them make
comments on my drafts as i went along. it worked. if the tech writer
is the translator between the engineers and whoever has to sign off on
projects, the key is to let the engineers tell you what they want and
you go write it down.
"they can't pay me enough to have my opinions for me"
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Software requirements writers?
Author: JGREY <JGREY -at- MADE2MANAGE -dot- COM> at Internet
Date: 12/24/97 14:44
My company is considering hiring a technical writer to write requirements
for our software products. I'm selling the concept on the premises of
relieving nonwriters (currently developers and product managers) of the
burden and of increasing the quality/readability/traceability of the
I haven't launched a search for such a person yet. We're in
Indianpolis, Indiana -- a great place to live but not a software mecca.
I have a gut feeling that, although I will certainly find skilled
technical writers locally, I will find few who have significant
requirement-writing experience and understand formal software design
processes such as the Microsoft Solutions Framework.