Which kind of technical writer are you?

When you work in a large technical writing department, it becomes very obvious that we all have different strengths and weaknesses. A great manager will hire writers with different skills to increase the overall effectiveness of the team. So, where do you fit in?

The Writer - You wait for enhancements like a kid watches for Santa on Dec. 24th. When they arrive, your word processor barely manages to stay one step ahead of your fingers and the carpet between your cubicle and your SME's loses another layer. Grokking the new features and turning them into instructions is what you do best, and if you weren't a technical writer you'd probably be a teacher or trainer. Specs? You're on it!

The Editor - You are an expert at slicing and dicing shoddy content and turning it into clear and concise text that flows like honey on a hot biscuit. Your waste basket is filled with empty red ink pens, and your inbox is filled with review requests because you've built a reputation for turning rough drafts into works of art.

The Techie - You go where others are afraid to tread... under the hood of your complex authoring tools. When things break, people knock on your cubicle door. The boss wants a custom ASP page for gathering feedback on server-based help? You offer it up the next day, including a back-end database and reporting tools. Easy as pie, as long as the coffee pot remains full.

The Socialite - You are the information highway for your department. When enhancements creep into the software, you know about it ahead of time because you work out with the developer and watch her pets when she's out of town. The team is having trouble getting feedback from a product manager? Not anymore, she's already on your Christmas card list and smiles whenever you knock on her door. You are a master networker and you never eat alone.

The Project Manager - You've never missed a deadline, thanks to your cross-referenced Gantt charts and systematic approach to getting the job done. You grease the wheels and keep productivity running on high at all times. Delays? Not on your watch. As long as your email software stays up and running, business will keep on rolling, because Organization is your middle name.

So, which kind of technical writer are you?