Friday, November 14, 2008

the carousel

I like Tom Johnson. I like this post. I don’t know if I agree completely with this comment:
Nowadays, tech writers are a dime a dozen. Companies hire them as needed and discard them when the immediate need is past. Companies will hire programmers and DBAs and QA personnel as regular employees because they have a direct effect on the process of turning out marketable product. But tech writers do not. So when a company reaches a point where it needs to field a help system or some other kind of documentation for customer use, they’ll hire a TW on a 6-month contract and when it’s over, he’s out the door.
Tom’s comment implies that at some point before “nowadays” there was a halcyon time of plentiful tech com jobs and 25 year stretches of employment with the same company. I don’t think this has ever been the case in the IT industries Tom invokes (programmers, DBAs, and QA personnel). Tech comm has always been and always will be expendable. It’s the nature of the practice and one of the consequences of business viability.

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