6 ways to sabotage your technical documentation

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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:
 

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A remote worker’s guide to technical document reviews

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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.

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The case for paid projects, not free writing tests

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I first want to state that I’m not averse to writing tests for full-time or contract positions. Yet, in today’s economy, my time at the keyboard is tied to billable work. A request to take a writing test came to me once from a company. Looking at the information they sent me, they could submit my output from this test to their client as a deliverable. All the while, I could be out time and money for the effort, and the company has gotten the work done for free.

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