Taking Stock of Stocks and Docs

It sure has been a memorable last few weeks for the world’s finances. Stock markets worldwide have tanked, and there is talk of a worldwide recession. The whole messed is linked to something called sub-prime mortgages, which really should have been called sub-par mortgages, or better still stinky rotten loans – further proof that terminology is everything.

This whole fiasco has become a litmus test of whether you believe in free will. Many believe the government or the financial institutions who either encouraged or pushed these ridiculous high-risk loans are to blame, because they foisted these loans on unsuspecting, gullible people. Others believe that the people who took on these loans knowing that they really could not afford them are to blame. If you believe the latter, you are a free will advocate. It reminds me of an actual sign I saw for a lawyer’s service: Free Will Review.

Responsibility is everything. When a document is released with incorrect or missing information, who is to blame? The reviewers, including the product manger, business analyst, programmers and QA? Or the technical writer? Who is ultimately responsible? Is everyone responsible?

There are tech writers and then there are great tech writers. The more senior you are, the more responsible you must be. Even when others may share in the blame, you need to have the courage to say: I own this document, so ultimately I am responsible. Now let’s fix it, and move on.

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