I took an interest in editorial reviews early in my career. That interest drove me to become a technical reviewer in the computer book industry for several years. I’m not sure they even have that role anymore. At the least publishers may not pay for that review anymore. Sitting through curt and incomplete document reviews made me take those extra steps because there had to be a better way.
Fast forward to today, I’m a stickler for kindness in the editorial review cycle:
Every job hunt and even unsolicited discussions with recruiters during the past few years brought me more tales of organizations continuing to have issues producing and maintaining technical documentation. It is not isolated in one sector, and I keep hearing the same problems repeatedly. This has been a real disappointment for me over the years I was a contract technical writer and now that I have a staff technical writer job.
Developing technical documentation isn’t fun. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such an afterthought. Things aren’t made any easier with a technical writing profession that is fragmented on the actual role of the technical writer.
Here are some ways organizations sabotage their technical documentation:
Even in the day of mobile devices and Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs), organizations can’t escape the need to review business and technical documents for accuracy, completeness, and message. I’ve been a student of technical document reviews, for much of my career. In fact, I was a computer book technical reviewer during the great computer book over-publishing of the nineties.