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(A book review by Sarah Maddox of ffeathers.com. Here is an excerpt…)
I’ve just finished reading Richard L. Hamilton’s new book entitled “Managing Writers, A Real World Guide to Managing Technical Documentation”. It’s a good read, with useful information for managers, writers and technical communicators alike.
I enjoyed the book, so I thought it might be a good idea to write up some of my thoughts and see if anyone wants to discuss them and the book. So here goes.
The book is an interesting mix of management techniques on the one hand (such as how to write a business case, or how to motivate people) and technical writing domain knowledge on the other hand (XML technology, content re-use, etc).
Even if, like me, you’re one of the many technical writers who want to stay technical writers and not move into management, I think you’ll find a lot of good information in Richard’s book. Most of us manage our own projects to a large extent. Also, it’s good to have an insight into what our managers are up to.
Things I especially enjoyed in the book
The early section on the “elements of technical writing” is an excellent introduction to the complex and fascinating world of technical documentation. If your managers have never been technical writers themselves, get them to read these nine pages. With any luck, they’ll become so involved that they’ll read further.