CHAT: how times have changed

Subject: CHAT: how times have changed
From: "Jessica N. Lange" <jlange -at- OEE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 09:32:04 -0500

While cleaning out my desk, I found a photocopy of a page. The highlighted
quote that struck me so forcibly that I saved it:

Whenever I come in on a software project in crisis,
I immediately head for the manual writer. Writers
know a program is in trouble as soon as they have
to write a twenty-page explanation of a minor "feature"
to keep people from stumbling over it. But writers are
generally held in a second-class position in this industry,
a position reflected in the amount of respect, involvement,
and pay that falls their way. As a result, all too often in a
project, writers construct those twenty pages, feeling it is
not "their place" to point out the problem.

---From "TOG on Interface" by Bruce Tognazzini,
published in 1992

Sometimes we think nothing ever changes. Back in '92, I totally agreed with
Mr Tognazzini's statement about a second-class position for tech writers.
Today, I no longer feel that way. I wonder how many of you agree?

Jessica N. Lange                              jlange -at- oee -dot- com
Technical Communicator, Ohio Electronic Engravers, Inc.

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