Showing posts from December, 2016 Stole My Money

מלל של הפוסט הזה למטה בעברית.  . Text of this post appears below in Hebrew I have written a bunch of blog posts about business and customer service - two of my favorite subjects. I try to give the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes businesses are just disorganized. Sometimes the staff is just poorly trained. But in this case, outright stole my money. I've had the same laptop bag since about 2005. Cool, right? But the zips are coming apart and, despite my sentimental attachment, it needs to be replaced. Retail stores charge an absolute fortune for laptop bags, so I went to to see where I could get the best price on a new backpack. - the company that eventually stole my money - advertised a bag that suited my needs for a price that I could afford. Considering that my current bag is falling apart, it was even worth it to pay for door-to-door delivery just so I could get it sooner. I entered my credit card details, the payment went thro

Constantly Satisfying Your Natural Curiosity

This is Part 2 of a 2-part blog. In my last post , I waxed lyrical about the virtues of Technical Writers, compared to technology journalists and engineers. I said that a writer embedded in a company has the opportunity to take part in the development of amazing new technologies, end-to-end. That is truly cool. But there is another level that tests a technical writer's mettle and turns good writers into great writers. I recently had the opportunity to work in a number of companies as a consulting writer and I came to an interesting realization. In-house writers have the luxury of learning their company's technology over time. In-house writers have the opportunity to create relationships with engineers, managers, and SMEs of all sorts. A short-term consulting writer has none of that. For example, I was sent to update a user guide in a company that wrote database software for System Administrators. I had just over half a day to learn the software, interview the SME, and write

Living Life on the Cutting Edge

This is Part 1 of a 2-part blog. Tech journalists get to play with all the new toys as they come to market or, if they go to the right bars , much before they come to market. How cool is it that as a tech journalist, you are invited to all the big events where brand new, ground-breaking technologies are announced? Tech journalists even get free stuff - for review, of course. What could beat that? Technical writing. As writers, we embed ourselves in companies that make the cool gadgets and amazing software. Game-changing ideas take form before our eyes. We are in the picture from kickoff through delivery. You might think that the engineers get all the fun, after all, they are the ones creating the innovations, actually putting the thing together that will change the world. But you'd be wrong. Engineers do have an awesome job as they bring the concept to release, but when was the last time an engineer was an integral part of the entire process? Product development usually inv